What to eat in Milan – Colours and Flavours of traditional Milanese cuisine

Eating at a Milanese restaurant is a feast for the eyes and the palate. Milan traditional cuisine is typically rich in ingredients: on the one hand this provides colourful dishes; on the other hand these foods are always very tasteful.

Take Minestrone for example. Peasant dish par excellence, this is a rainbow of vegetables, a soup made with carrots, zucchini, cabbage, onions, and beans; but it’s also an intensely flavoured dish because according to the ‘perfect recipe’ it must contain even lard and pork rind.

And Risotto alla Milanese. Just try and find another dish of this colour  Ok, it’s a single shade of colour  nothing to do with the rainbow of Minestrone, but in its simplicity it is extremely particular. Saffron is the element that gives colour to rice, filling it with an unmistakable flavour at the same time. In some restaurants in Milan, saffron rice is served along with a delicious piece of meat called osso buco, cross-cut veal shanks cooked in butter and a little stock. At that point, even Yellow Rice becomes a multi-colour dish.

And what about the tasty Cotoletta alla Milanese, better known as “la Milanese” in all the restaurant menus around the World. That crispy, golden breadcrumb crust contains a veal cutlet with bone: if it is cooked to perfection, when you cut it you will still see blood-red meat at the centre and close to the bone, which offers a nice contrast. Also its taste is unique: a meat slice covered with a crust of bread and eggs.

If you happen to visit Milan in the cold winter (December to February) and you wish to try one of the most classic Milanese dishes, Cassoeula (pronounced Càsola) is the answer, to delight your eyes and nose with a preparation that bears the typical colours of autumn/winter: the straw yellow of fallen leaves, with shades of beige and brown. The main ingredients of Cassoeula are cabbage and all the less ‘noble’ parts of the pig, those scorned by the Lords in the past, which therefore ended up in the peasants’ pots: the rind, feet, ribs and head of the pig. That said: can you only imagine what a strong, extremely tasty flavour this popular dish now proposed in the best Milanese restaurants or served in many trattorias in Brianza and Lodigiano may have?

Talking of colours & flavours we cannot miss to mention Panettone, another cult in Milan with regards to traditional cuisine. On the outside it looks like a big bread with a thousand shades. When you cut it open, the inside is yellow due to the great number of eggs used in the preparation. Each slice is poetry for the eye, due to the presence of this storm of coloured drops: dark raisins, and multicoloured pieces of candied fruit. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth explosion of taste, which always sounds of Christmas carols as soon as you close your eyes.

So if someone tells you that in Milan you will only eat Polenta (hint: polenta with Gorgonzola cheese, mmmhh mouth-watering,) just remember that they are wrong. Milanese cuisine offers plenty of traditional dishes, that satisfy the palate and the eyes, too.


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Emilia Delizia
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by Radovan on Emilia Delizia
Very Nice Morning.

I visited the Food Tours with my wife, we were looking forward to this some time ago and I can state that this tour bring to us very interesting time and experience in spite of the fact that we departed from Milano by morning train at 5,50 am. Our guide was young man and we enjoyed all morning together talking not only about the parmazan, balsamic and parma ham. I really appreciate it. He was very communicate, his driving was safety, very polite. Parmazan farm - amazing, balsamic farm -

by Alyssa on Emilia Delizia
Wonderful Foodies Tour!

My boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed the Foodies Tour, which included stops at producers of cheese, balsamic vinegar and cured meat. Paolo was an amazing tour guide – he's extremely knowledgeable, kind and a great communicator. We learned so much! It was really nice to be in a smaller group and most of the producers we visited were small so we were able to get a close up view of the processes. We'd highly recommend Emilia Delizia as this tour was truly authentic and a highlight of our trip!

thank you for the kind review

by Peter jacob on Emilia Delizia

The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.

by Janice on Emilia Delizia

We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!

by Bing Liem on Emilia Delizia
Emilia Delizia

The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!

by Avihai on Emilia Delizia

Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.

Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.

by Johnathan on Emilia Delizia
Super food and super cars

The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.

Thank you!

by Susan on Emilia Delizia
Lovely food tour and cooking class

Hi Gabriele:

I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.

Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge

by Simone&Vasco on Emilia Delizia
Food tour in Modena

The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.

We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide

by Kimie on Emilia Delizia
Fantastic Tour!!

It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.

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