What to eat in Verona
10 typical dishes not to be missed
What to eat in Verona? Here are the 10 best typical dishes of Veronese cuisine, including traditional specialties and local street food. Find out more!
Besides being a romantic city rich in art and culture, which annually attracts crowds of tourists eager to visit its monuments and get lost in its suggestive alleys, Verona is also known for its cuisine, traditional dishes, and its good wine.
But what are the typical dishes of Verona that you absolutely must taste when you are visiting? Here is our top 10:
Risotto with Tastasal
Typical dish of Verona and the Veneto cuisine, this risotto is made of minced, salted and peppered pork. The meaning of the word “tastasal” is precisely “taste the salt” in Venetian dialect, and in fact, this recipe was prepared to check that the meat used for the sausages and salami was properly salted. Very popular in Veronese kitchens, there are several versions, all equally delicious.
Boiled meat with pearà
One of the typical recipes of Verona, still savored by the city’s families on cold winter days, especially at Christmas. It is boiled meat and vegetables accompanied by a mashed breadcrumbs “seasoned” with abundant pepper. There are also different variations for this dish, but the basic ingredients are always the same.
Pastissada de Caval
Also known as the “braised horse”, this dish has a historical origin. It is said to date back to the fifth century after Christ when the Veronese territory was shaken by the war between the King of the Ostrogoths Theodoric and the King of Italy Odoacre. At the end of the fight, won by Theodoric, many horses remained on the ground, and the starving people were allowed to feed on them. The meat was cut and left to macerate in red wine, together with spices and vegetables, to preserve it longer. Since then, this recipe has been passed down from generation to generation up to the present day.
Pasta e fasoi (beans)
According to some, the pasta and beans dates back to the Roman Empire, where this recipe was prepared with leftover pasta. It became very popular in Roman taverns, and later among peasants, as it was very cheap and easy to cook. According to others, this dish has a medieval origin and was cooked by the poorest families because it was tasty and flavored. In the more rustic version, it can be accompanied by pork rinds, widely used in the country cooking of the time. What is certain is that this dish is widespread in Veneto, where it is cooked with bigoli and tagliatelle and is part of traditional cuisine.
A typical dish of the Veronese Carnival, potato gnocchi are much loved by the citizens of Verona and the dish is excellent if accompanied with a simple tomato sauce, with gorgonzola or with butter and sage. According to tradition, while the city was afflicted by a famine, on the last Friday before Lent Tommaso da Vico distributed large quantities of bread, wine, flour, butter, eggs and cheese ingredients needed to make the gnocchi. In his will, he asked to distribute these provisions every year to the inhabitants of the San Zeno district. That is how Friday “gnocolar” was born.
Polenta is another popular Veronese dish, typical of the poor farmers of the Po Valley. It is prepared with cornmeal and cooked in salted water. It is delicious if combined with beans (polenta infasola) or meat, mushrooms and cheese. In Verona, a typical pairing is also the one with renga (herring).
Thanks to its delicious flavor, this risotto cooked with the fine Valpolicella wine is one of the favorite dishes of the city’s residents and visitors. It is prepared with ingredients that come exclusively from the Veronese area: Vialone Nano rice, Amarone della Valpolicella and grated Monte Veronese cheese.
Sfogliatelle of Villafranca
Villafranca is a town not far from Verona, whose sfogliatelle are so loved as to be known throughout Italy. They are made from simple ingredients – flour, butter, water, salt, eggs and sugar – but their preparation is quite complex. So when you are visiting Verona do not miss the opportunity to taste these delicious sweets!
Pandoro is perhaps the best-known dessert leavened cake in the city. Based on flour, sugar, eggs and butter, it quickly established itself as the most consumed Christmas dessert in the whole country, together with the Milanese Panettone. His recipe was conceived in 1894 by Domenico Melegatti in the workshop of Corso Porta Borsari and since then this leavened dessert is on our tables. Excellent if accompanied by mascarpone cream!
The fritole are a typical carnival dessert, so loved that in the eighteenth century they were even proclaimed “National Sweet of the Veneto State.” Nowadays, these desserts made of flour, eggs, apples and raisins and then fried, are very consumed by the Veronese who love to buy them in the pastry shop or prepare them at home.