The Mountains on Your Plate: A Taste of Trentino’s Alpine Cuisine

The Mountains on Your Plate: A Taste of Trentino’s Alpine Cuisine

May 07, 2024Federico Milone

Nestled amidst the Dolomites and the Alps, Trentino offers a rich and varied culinary landscape, shaped by a confluence of diverse cultures and distinct climates and altitudes. Its cuisine, deeply rooted in peasant tradition, is based on genuine and seasonal products, expertly crafted to enhance their authentic flavors.


First Courses:

  • Canederli: Bread dumplings made with simple ingredients like stale bread, eggs, milk, and flour, often enriched with speck (a type of cured ham), Grana cheese, or aromatic herbs. They can be served in broth or seasoned with melted butter and sage.
  • Spätzle: Tyrolean dumplings made with flour, eggs, milk, and water, seasoned with melted butter, crispy speck, onions, and Trentingrana cheese.
  • Strangolapreti: Bread and spinach or chard dumplings, seasoned with melted butter, sage, and Trentingrana cheese.
  • Schlutzkrapfen: Crescent-shaped ravioli widely popular throughout South Tyrol. They are generally seasoned exclusively with grated cheese and melted butter. The dough can be classic with flour, water, and a small percentage of eggs. Sometimes the dough also contains a small percentage of rye flour. The filling is usually based on ricotta and spinach, with the addition, sometimes, of mashed potatoes, chopped or sautéed onion, and spices.


Second Courses:

  • Carne salada: A typical dish made from lean beef, marinated in spices and aromatic herbs, and then air-dried. It is served raw, thinly sliced, with green beans, onions, and Trentingrana cheese.
  • Speck: A seasoned cured ham produced from pork thighs sourced from local farms. Its intense and slightly smoky flavor makes it a star of appetizers, platters, and first courses.
  • Potato Tortei and Cakes: To prepare these "potato pancakes", white potatoes are grated with a coarse grater, salt and very little flour are added, and flat cakes are formed, which are then fried in oil. In the "cake" version, the dough is instead compacted on a baking sheet and baked in the oven. They are accompanied by cold cuts (such as mortadella from Nones) and cheeses and are perfect for a hearty appetizer!



  • Apple strudel: A pastry made with puff pastry filled with apples, raisins, pine nuts, and cinnamon. Its outer crunchiness contrasts with the softness of the spiced filling, creating an irresistible combination of flavors.
  • Buckwheat cake: A rustic and flavorful cake made with buckwheat flour (naturally gluten-free), butter, eggs, and sugar. Its moist texture and slightly bitter taste make it a perfect dessert for a genuine breakfast or snack.
  • Zelten: A Christmas dessert rich in dried fruit, spices, and honey. Its preparation requires a long process and a resting period, which give it an intense flavor and an unmistakable aroma.



Trentino boasts a rich cheese production, the result of an ancient dairy tradition and high-quality milk. Among the most renowned we find:

  • Trentingrana: A PDO cheese made from cow's milk, aged for at least 12 months. Its intense and slightly piquant flavor makes it ideal for first courses, second courses, and salads.
  • Tosela: A PDO cheese made from cow's, goat's, or sheep's milk, aged for at least 3 months. Its sweet and delicate flavor makes it perfect to be enjoyed on its own or accompanied by honey or jams.
  • Spressa del Brenta: A PDO cheese made from raw cow's milk, aged for at least 6 months. Its strong and aromatic flavor makes it ideal for use in cooking, for the preparation of sauces and first courses.


In Trentino, breathtaking landscapes meet a rich culinary heritage. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are transformed into hearty dishes and delightful treats. From savory dumplings to renowned cheeses, Trentino's cuisine is a feast for the senses.


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