strictly local foods

strictly local foods

[ June 2017 ] In the weekend in June when the temperature went up to 35 degrees, we had an excursion from Milan to Monte Isola, an island on Lake Iseo in Italy.

It took a bit more than one hour by car to get to the town called Sale Marasino where we took a traghetto (ferry) to the island.

The fare was €5 for return journey and we paid in the boat.

We have been to Lake Iseo before but maybe because the weather was not nice, I had an image that this lake was not special, but this time under the bright sun, the lake was really beautiful including the view of the towns on the shore and not inferior to Lake Como.

The small town we arrived at was Carzano.

We went there because we booked a table in a restaurant in the town, but there were some other villages on the island and you can get to these places by other routes.

There is a church on top of a mountain on the island.

In Carzano, there are only two roads, one of which goes up to the mountain and the other goes around the island.

We had a time before the reservation in the restaurant, so we tried to get to the church on top of the mountain.

On the way, we saw a few farm houses, but it was mainly a mountain path.

We went up quite a lot and saw some lovely views, but even after a while we did not feel that we were arriving to the top at all, so we decided to come back down.

It was too hot.

Now we went to the restaurant whose name was Locanda al Lago.

On the menu, there was an old photo taken in 1955, so this is a restaurant of long standing.

Most of their dishes were made of the fish from this lake.

They had some meat dishes, too and the materials were sauced locally as much as possible.

There was an original local salami, which was intriguing, but we decided to stick to the fish and shared the assorted fish starter including trout which was like salmon, small fish, paté, and so on.

There was a salty fish which tasted like a Japanese food, too.

For the main, I had the Bottarga Spaghetti.

It was the Bottarga of perch (Pesce Persico) from the lake and tasted different from the Bottarga of tuna, but it was very nice nonetheless.

My husband chose “Pasta in the Fisherman’s way” which was the pasta called Trenette with dried Lake Sardine sauce.

It was said that the local extra virgin olive oil was used.

Surely we saw many olive trees on the island.

Their original fried potato as well as the local white wine were very tasty, too, with a lovely aroma.

Including the dessert (meringue cake), the bill was €78 which I thought was very reasonable.

I would like to go back there again.

By the way, apparently the people on the island are doing an experiment that they keep their local sparkling wine, Nautilus at the bottom of the lake.

The temperature is always 4 to 5 degree and the pressure is regular and the waves are thought to be good for the wine.

The experiment is for 24 months, so next time we visit there, we might be able to drink the wine from the bottom of the lake.