Delicacies
for every palate

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A land to savour

Be it during your time here or back home while savouring a memento, Lake Garda should be experienced through all the senses, and the sense of taste provides unforgettable pleasures. White, red and rosé wines to accompany fish dishes and platters of cheeses and cured meats are available to satisfy all tastes. The Mediterranean is represented here by its most characteristic products: citrus fruits, olives and capers, and others from the hilly hinterland such as saffron. To round off a meal, Garda offers desserts that you will find nowhere else: the excellent Torta Maderno and Torta di Rose, as well as traditional spirits.
Wines

wines

The area between Salò and Pozzolengo lends itself to grape cultivation and, consequently, wine production: crisp white wines such as Lugana DOC, Benaco Bresciano Riesling and San Martino della Battaglia; delicious, ruby-coloured reds like Riviera del Garda Classico; crisp, delicious rosés that the locals simply call chiaretto, which pair perfectly with fish dishes.
Fish

Fish

In Lake Garda, whitefish, pike and perch can be found in large numbers. These make up the main catch of professional fishermen (who wake up before dawn just as their grandfathers did) as well as of the many enthusiasts who fish on the lake. Some directly supply Lake Garda restaurants, while others have their own stalls where it is customary to shop for lunch.
Cheeses

Cheeses

You can detect the scent of meadow grasses in typical local cheeses: from the 'Tombea' of Magasa with its intense yellow colour to the milky white 'Formagella di Tremosine', fruit of the knowledge of cheesemakers from the plateau of the same name. The 'Garda' cheese is not to be missed: depending on its maturation period, this hard cheese is eaten in small pieces or grated on pasta. Exported all over the world, the 'Grana Padano’ is particularly famous. 
Cold cuts

Cold cuts

The jewel in the crown of Garda's cured pork tradition is Salame Morenico di Pozzolengo. It has obtained recognition as a Denominazione Comunale di Origine product and is made by local micro-producers. This delicacy is born out of the expertise of the producers (norcini) combined with the local climate: not too harsh in winter and warm but fairly windy in spring.
Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits first came to Lake Garda in the 13th century, brought by Franciscan monks of Gargnano. Lemons, citrons and oranges were cultivated in specially built greenhouses to protect the plants from winter frosts. The lemon houses along the coastal road are an example of local architecture and history; open in summer, they are closed in with wood and glass in winter to protect the plants.
Oil

Oils (extra virgin olive oil)

The gold of Garda is its Garda DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This precious golden-green liquid exudes a delicate fragrance with a hint of sweet almonds. It is excellent for enhancing fish, particularly freshwater, as well as meat and salads. The most authentic way to enjoy it, however, is to drizzle it on a slice of bread.
Capers

Capers

Small, green and often mistakenly considered a fruit, capers are in fact buds, and can be found preserved in salt or vinegar. The fruit of the caper plant is larger in size and is often served as an aperitif. Some producers also use the leaves as a garnish or dried caper powder to enhance flavour: as the great chefs teach us, everything on the plate can be eaten.
Saffron

Saffron

Crocus sativus – the saffron crocus – is cultivated both in the southern part of Lake Garda and in the upper lake area. This is the most expensive spice in the world as it is not obtained from the flower in its entirety, but from the red stigmas it contains. The process involves harvesting the flower between October and November during the early morning hours, extracting the stigmas and drying them.
Sweets

Sweets

The peasant origins of the recipes for traditional sweets such as the spongadì of Tremosine sul Garda or the chisöl of Lonato del Garda are clear: the ingredients they require are found in all kitchens, even the poorest. Dried fruit preserved in honey is a delicacy still given as a gift today. You will also find the much-loved fritters enjoyed during Carnival, or the fried Saltarelle from Padenghe sul Garda that grandmothers prepare for children as a snack.
Spirits

Spirits

One of northern Italy's deep-rooted traditions is grappa, and Lake Garda has its own local varieties, including one extracted from the marc (pomace) of Lugana grapes, and a historical one from Tignale (which D'Annunzio called ‘the dew of the Alps). Where there are lemon houses, it is customary to produce limoncino, a liqueur made by macerating lemon peels in alcohol, and crema di limone by adding cream.
Truffles

Truffles

A prized mushroom, the truffle grows in the wooded areas around Lake Garda. Both black and white truffles are found here, gathered by expert truffle hunters with the help of well-trained dogs. Tignale even has a festival devoted to this highly-prized delicacy between September and October, where you can buy or taste truffles in participating restaurants offering themed menus.
Honey

Honey

From March onwards, the meadows around Lake Garda light up with colour and the buzzing of bees fills the air. The yellow of the dandelions, white clusters of acacias and the blossoms of the chestnut tree are the first step towards honey. The bees don't miss a single bloom, and their work in the beehive produces millefiori (‘a thousand flowers’) honey: a single name for a whole spectrum of flavour.
Beans

The Val Vestino bean

This legume has travelled a long way to become a Garda delicacy. Originally from Central America, it was brought to this valley by Venetian merchants in the 16th century. In order to save the bean plants with their red and white flowers from extinction, a group of enthusiasts has started growing them again in the municipalities of Valvestino and Magasa.