- Food & Wine
Eating in Lodi: starters to dessert
From cheese to amaretto biscuits, here's all you need to know to indulge in some delicious Lodi specialities
Fancy stopping in Lodi for lunch? We have put together a guide about the gastronomic delights that are waiting to be discovered. Enjoy some delicious local Lodi dishes!
As well as being a sight to behold, the natural and artistic beauty of Lodigiano also whets your appetite somewhat. After a relaxing stroll surrounded by nature or a sightseeing excursion to explore the legacy of times gone by, take a break to taste the mouthwatering recipes typical of the area. Just a taste? This comprehensive menu will impress even the most demanding foodies.
What to eat in Lodi: let's start with starters!
A good meal featuring Lodi dishes simply has to start with Pes en carpiòn, an appetizer made of small freshwater fish that are fried and then macerated in water and vinegar. Fritadine is another traditional speciality, a warm omelette garnished with raspadüra: a Parmesan type cheese (usually mature Granone lodigiano) cut into thin sheets with a large, flat knife. Raspadüra, which takes its name from the way it is "raschiato" or "scraped", is also used as an accompaniment to salami, walnuts or mushrooms, or to garnish first courses (such as risotto or polenta). Originally it was popular as a cheap food made from imperfect wheels of grana cheese, but today it is made with high quality mature cheese.
Remember that local cheeses are considered to be the jewel in the crown of Lodi's specialities. If you're a cheese lover you should try Pannerone, which takes its name from “panera” meaning “cream” in the local Lombardy dialect. This cheese is made from unpasteurised cow's milk, it is not salted and best eaten young is only matured for a short period. It is perfect in risotto or served with honey and poached pears. With a slightly bitter aftertaste it is an excellent after-dinner cheese.
A first class first course in Lodi: Risotto
Rice is an essential feature of your perfect traditional Lodi menu. The Lodi area produces plentiful rice crops. A hearty dish of Rišòt rugnùš is a must, this risotto is made with tomato sauce and diced salami, then served with butter and cheese. This is one of the most typical dishes of Lodigiano, along with Rišòt cun verše and fasöi, made with chopped cabbage and borlotti beans.
A unique taste of traditional Lodigiano: Büseca
Another highlight of Lodigiano cuisine has to be the tripe based Büseca: an unusual dish that blends authenticity, simplicity and flavour, and is most notably served on the feast of Lodi's patron saint, Saint Bassiano, on 19 January. This local recipe involves stewing tripe with lots of vegetables and a meat broth, until it is tender and tasty.
To finish it off, the dish is served with a generous helping of grated Granone cheese.
Traditional Lodi second courses
A second course is definitely on the menu to fully enjoy a meal of Lodi specialities. After the risotto, there is always room on the table for Pulpéte ligàde, pork loin rolls stuffed with grana cheese and breadcrumbs. Rane en ümid is also worth a try, this dish of roasted frogs is accompanied by a tasty tomato, garlic and parsley sauce.
An exquisite ending: typical Lodigiano desserts
As well as the famous Tortionata, a delicious classic Lodi dessert, we recommend you try the Torta Sabbiosa di Maleo, served with rum or cognac cream, and Bertuldina, a very soft cake with a slightly crunchy surface. Alternatives to classic cakes include Meìn, which are made with butter and flour and best enjoyed crumbled in milk or cream (these are a November favourite), Crema Lodigiana, prepared with eggs and mascarpone cheese, and Amaretti di Sant'Angelo, based on a traditional recipe dating back to the early 19th century.