Now that we’re back in the groove, it’s time to find some good a** food to enjoy while in Milan. I mean what’re you going to keep going to eat? All the things you can get back home? Naaaaah, it’s time to enjoy some Milanese specialities, so you can enjoy a full Milanese experience in amazing Milan. Lombard foods are very meat-based and me personally I’m a big fan of that, cause they really know how to show the love, but not everyone eats meat and that isn’t a problem at all, cause you’ve got a great deal of non-meat foods for you as well.
I’m going to give you a full menu to pick from, going from your Milanese Aperitivo (that is a must in the city that invented Happy Hour) all the way down to the Amaro, cause in when you enjoy Milan’s food, you get to have a specialty for every course.
Let’s look at these Milanese specialities, and get me all hungry before lunch (at least you know what time I’m writing this at, and you feel like we actually know each other yaaaaay).
You’ve heard of the Negroni, if you haven’t it’s a strong Aperitivo cocktail with a base of Campari, Red Vermouth, and Gin invented in Florence by Count Camillo Negroni, so the Milanese don’t have the Negroni, but rather the Negroni Sbagliato. The main difference with the Original Negroni is the substitution of Gin with Brut Champagne. So you can enjoy a lighter drink, not only in alcohol percentage but also in taste.
You can’t have an Aperitivo without some cheese, and Milan has one of the best variants of Stracchino (a soft spreadable cheese) there is in Italy. The Salva Cremasco, is a soft cheese that has some beautiful herbal hints and goes great with some white wine.
The original Milanese salami. As you probably know, or even just suspected, every region/city has its own special salami. Now you don’t e en need to really ask for it, cause you’ll have a couple of slices in pretty much every Aperitivo, but at least you know that if you want a salami at the supermarket in Milan this one is mostly sourced locally.
Main Course – Primi Piatti Milanesi
Risotto allo Zafferano
The original risotto, and what a risotto. The risotto allo zafferano is the main Milanese dish, so much that everywhere else it’s called Risotto Alla Milanese. I mean in some places in Milan as well, cause this risotto gives automatic bragging rights. It’s a saffron sauce with risotto. Very delicate, but so good when it’s made well.
You know very well that Italy loves pasta, but you also know that Italy loves it’s stuffed pasta. Casoncelli are exactly that, a stuffed pasta variant, filled with cheese, breadcrumbs, and meat. You want to go full local getting them with butter and sage.
Entrees – Secondi Piatti Milanesi
Cotoletta alla Milanese
There are few things in life I enjoy as much as fried food, and the Cotoletta Alla Milanese is one of my favorite ones. You need to have it at least once. It’s a fried Veal Chop, a Wiener Schnitzel, but Italian.
Ossobuco all Milanese
Now for the fancier side of you, there’s the Ossobuco Alla Milanese. A particular cut of bovine meat, that has a part of the bone marrow as well. Doesn’t sound that great when talking about it, but it’s actually really good. Braised in wine for hours on end the bone marrow becomes sauce-like, and the meat is exceptionally tender. A true Milanese delicacy to enjoy a little Ossobuco at the end of your meal.
I still can’t pronounce this properly, but I know that I like this nice warm, and hearty winter stew. The winters in Milan can get pretty chili, so you need some cabbage soup right? Yes, but why not add in some sausage and braised pork.
Dessert – Dolci Milanesi
You’re probably at home enjoying some Mascarpone right now, and guess where the original comes from? Yes….Milan. This cheese is one of the most versatile cheeses out there. You can have it sweet, savory, however, you want it.
A super simple pancake really, but a really thin one. Flour, water, eggs, milk all fried in oil and topped with a bit of powdered sugar. You know what maybe some Mascarpone can make the whole experience even better.
Digestives – Amari Milanesi
Digestives are how you end every Italian meal, cause you know that you’re going to be stuffed and are going to need some type of external help. Fernet is one of the classic Milanese Herbal Liqueurs, with an infinite list of ingredients. But bitter right enough to go great with your espresso as well.
Another very famous and also very good Amaro is Amaro Ramazzotti. Probably doesn’t have the fame it once had before, it’s still one of the most drank amaro in Milan. A secret mixture of 33 herbs and roots that its best enjoyed on the rocks.