The local cuisine is synonymous of traditional and quality. The local recipes are all based on ancient recipes, which are still today proposed by the most famous restaurants of the province.
Rich and varied is the choice of starter courses prepared with the seasonal produce, whilst the regality of the first courses goes to the “agnolotti”, the acclaimed filled pasta of which the ingredients can vary slightly from town to town. For example at Calliano the agnolotti would be filled with donkey meat, at Viarigi, with rabbit and at Costigliole you would be served with the “plin” variety (closed with a pinch). At Cessole, the agnolotti are served directly in the napkin and without any sauce. Wherever you taste them, they are served with a sage and butter dressing that exalts the taste of the excellent Piedmont bovine meat. Typical and ancient dishes enrich the menus of many restaurants, who pay particular attention to tradition: in this way it is possible to savour both the “finanziera” and the “fritto misto”, two “heritage” dishes of the local country cuisine, born to use the meat giblets. Other dishes with “exotic” names are the “tartrà” (basically a vegetable soufflé) and the “fricandò” a dish of meat cooked in a local sauce.
The winter menus are rich with cheese fondue sauces, aromatised with mushrooms and with the precious white truffles of the Monferrato area. The start of the cold season sees the introduction of different boiled meats. The Spring and Summer menus have, as their mainstay, the reputed “fruits” of the land such as the Saracen asparagus of Vinchio, red and green peppers and vegetables of all colours, that are served with dishes of rabbit and chicken. The wines are accompanied by cheeses and cold meats; the esteemed “robiola” cheese of Roccaverano, a goat’s cheese made with an ancient recipe which gives it a rich taste, that changes with the season according to the type of grass on the high Langhe Asti hills. This is served with honey or fragrant mostard (a sauce of grape must, hazelnuts and fruit). Among the cold meats, we must remember the “salame cotto” (cooked salame), and the original production of salami made with donkey meat and Cocconato ham.
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