Traditions

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The Monferrato has two distict culinary traditions: the most sumptuous and rich developed at the Court of Savoy (choccolate, zabaione, boiled and fried Piemmontese mixed dishes) and the more poor one, peasant-like, born from the need to create nutritious and tasty dishes made from basic  readily, locally available and low-cost ingredients (finanziera, a stuffing a la financiere, and bagna cauda). Both traditions create very tasty and strong dishes, that go well with the robust wines of the area. The most favorite dish of the area is Bagna Cauda, a creamy anchovy and garlic mixture, served hot and accompanied by seasonal vegetables (particularly the cardoons a gibbous thistle of Nizza Monferrato, the square-like pepper of Asti and Jerusalem artichokes) in a vinaigrette like souce. Born as a convivial dish, symbol of the end of vinification season, to celebrate the new wine.

Another typical peasant recipe, dating back to 1450, is the finanziera (a stuffing a la financiere), a dish based on a recipe made from offal, slaughter remains served in an appetizing way.

Last there is the fritto misto, a mixed dish obtained by separately frying offal and sweetbreads of lamb, pork and veal, chicken breasts, macaroons and apples. Simplicity and genuineness, based on seasonally fresh ingredients, are therefore the key ingredients that form the cuisine of Monferrato.

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