One of the best parts of visiting an Italian national park is enjoying the delicious authentic ingredients and recipes which are local to the park. Gran Paradiso National Park is no exception. Given the national park’s location within the Italian Alps, the delicacies originating from the park are truly unique to the territory.
Despite tough climate conditions, some delicious wines are grown at high altitudes within the Gran Paradiso National Park. This wine appellation has some of the highest cultivated vineyards of Europe at a height of 1200 meters.The red wines of the region have a strong berry aroma and have a dry, acidic and slightly spicy taste. Valle d’Aosta DOC white wines are light, sweet and aromatic.
Traditionally made from unpasteurised milk of the Valdaostan Red Spotted cows the texture and flavour of Fontina depends on how long it has been aged. The texture can vary from semi-soft to firm and the flavours from mild and rich to more robust and overpowering, typically, Fontina DOP is aged for 90 days.
Fontina can be served in many different ways, generally it is eaten alone or with a slice of bread. In Val d’Aosta, it is usually paired with polenta, one of the most famous dishes of Northern Italy. The ideal wine to pair with Fontina DOP is a delicate and light red wine, such as the local Valle d’Aosta Donnas DOC
Typical of the Canavese and Biellese areas of the National Park, Salame di patate was born out of the local peasant tradition of the area. As a way to extend the food supply, farming families would add potatoes to their porc sausage. Today, the specialty has become a local delicacies, with the production period lasting from October to March, before the potatoes begin to ferment.
A classic of traditional Valle d’Aosta cuisine, Boudin is a sausage that was originally made by mixing boiled potatoes, turnips, cinnamon and herbs to pig’s blood.
Also called motzetta, this speciality of Valle d’Aosta is a cured meat traditionally made from the leg of the Alpine Ibex, however since the Ibex is protected by the national park, chamois or goat meat is now used.
Tegola are classic cookies of the Valle d’Aosta region, and one of their most famous desserts. Tegola are thin crispy wafers, with a rounded shape, whose main ingredients are hazelnuts and almonds. The cookies are known for their characteristically bitter and sweet taste. The production of this typical dessert began around 1930 in the artisan workshops of the local bakers, as a recreation of an old French recipe. The dessert pairs well with whipped cream or ice cream, or on its own with a cup of coffee or tea.