When you talk about Trentino, the first thing you certainly remind of is the apple, symbol of this region. However, you cannot forget the many other products that this land offers, such as red and white wines, the spumante (a sparkling wine) and the grappa, all produced following a natural tradition which guarantees their quality.
They are cultivated in several areas of Trentino, but the most famous valley where they are produced is the Val di Non. The most widespread qualities are the Renetta del Canada, the Golden Delicious and the Red Delicious. They are subject to several strict quality controls, guaranteed by specific regulations approved by the provincial authority. Producers undertake to follow the most natural rules in all the stages of the production, in order to protect the product quality and the customer and environment health.
The most well-known red wines are Teroldego Rotaliano Doc and Marzemino Trentino Doc, two emblems of Trentino, obtained from the homonymous native grapes. Merlot and Cabernet had been introduced in the Trento province later. At the moment almost all the white grapes are used to produce Chardonnay, while the remaining is used for the Spumante Trento Classico.
Among the dessert wines we can remember Moscato giallo, and Moscato rosa Trentino Doc and Vino Santo Trentino Doc.
This is one of the regions that gave Italians the opportunity to equal the foreign producers of sparkling wine. Chardonnay, Pinot nero and Pinot bianco constitute the basis of the spumante Trento metodo Classico. The grape harvest of grapes from which Trento Classico is produced is regulated by specific "bandi vendemmiali" (harvest regulations), that establish time and ways of the harvest. Its sparkling is executed following the strict criteria of the champenois method, which expects several stages carefully controlled by the Underwriting Syndacate.
Grappa is an old distillate, which has a long tradition. Nowadays it presents aromatic and light characteristics that gave a different and more real image of the distillate. In the distilleries, the traditional distillation processes are unchanged, since they still follow the old rules of the indirect warm source, of the slow manufacture and of the constant work of men. At the same time, however, more modern techiques have been adopted: the dregs of pressed grapes are distilled when still fresh, tenderer and not exhausted as previously, so that you can obtain a grappa of a superior quality. The region is pursuing the acknowledgemnt of a label guaranteeing the quality and origin of the distillate. Among the Trentino distillates, there is not only grappa, but there is also the production of fruit distillates, among which you can find the excellent grape, apricot and quince ones.
Among the most known cheese you can find Grana, Asiago, Vezzena, Fontal, Taleggio, ricotta (a soft white unsalted cheese) and mascarpone (a soft cream cheese). The Grana Trentino, also known as Trentingrana, belongs to the Grana Padano family, whose production is mainly concentrated in the Valle di Non. Another widespread cheese is the Asiago, which comes from the homonymous area, but which has been produced also in the Trentino Alpine valleys.
In Trentino a century-old tradition is represented by the ricotta too, which is called "poina" in dialect. In the Alpine huts, were it was produced, it was often smoked and seasoned. In some valleys ricotta biscuits, made by browning the cheese on the fire hotplate, were spread.
Among the most demanded there are the chestnut honey, with its dark colour and persistent taste, and the rhododendron honey, very difficult to produce since the mountain environment where these plants grows is subject to sudden climate changes that makes precarious the life of the bees. It has a soft, very pleasant smell, and a characteristic but delicate, full and harmonic taste, with a high pleasant persistence, and fine perfume characteristic of the rhododendron flowers.
Oil is another product that in Trentino has reached high quality standards, but the difficult climate conditions makes the olive trees growth possible only in the Garda Lake temperate area. Nowadays the average olive production is between 1 and 7 thousand quintals. This production is partly worked in the stone olive presses and the oil that results has a bright green colour with golden reflections and an aroma and a taste very characteristic.
Among the salted pork meats produced in Trentino speck is certainly the most well-known. However we cannot forget the "carne salada" (a thin raw beef with salt) in the western Trentino, the garlic salami, the "cacciatore" and the aromatic bacon fat of the Val Rendena. The garlic salami and the "cacciatore" (a seasoned salami) find in Val Rendena the tradition of their production and seasoning, which are an expression of the knowledge and mastery of manufacturing the best pork meats adding salt, pepper and obviously garlic that gives the salami their unmistakable taste.
Bacon fat is an unmistakable meat, that nowadays cannot be omitted in the menu of the best Italian restaurants and in everyday hors d'oeuvre. Without preservatives, rich in vitamins, flavoured with spices, it is suitable to be eaten with fresh bread or used in the cookery to flavour the best dishes.