polenta in lugano
With a location so close to Italy, yet still definitely Swiss, the food in and around Lugano surprises some tourists. The cuisine of the local area is known as Ticinese and can best be described as utterly delicious. It takes influences from both countries to deliver something that is certainly delightful for your palette.

The staple soup of Ticinese cuisine is minestrone. This hearty vegetable soup has no set recipe, with each family giving it their own twist and declaring it the “best” soup in the region. Great for warming you up on a cold day. Another popular soup that you will see served is the tasty pumpkin soup.

Ages ago, the Ticinese people were rather poor and lived off of the staples of potatoes, polenta and chestnuts. To this day, polenta is still a staple dish in the area.

Salmì of Rabbit is another traditional Lombardi dish that you will find when dining in the area. The marinade has been used since ancient times as a way to preserve the meat and make the game more tender. Definitely a delectable dish to try while in the area.

A simple dish of marinated fish is popular among all the lakeside villages in Lombardy.

Bread cake is the typical sweet treat that you see as festivals and such in the area. You will also find that macaroons are a popular sweet treat with the people of the Lombardy region.

For typical drinks of the region, besides the very common red, white and rosé wines, there is fresh and thirst quenching lemonade but also grappa and ratafià (also called nocino), a liqueur made from walnuts of which, they say, only friars know the original recipe.