One of the joys of blogging is meeting up with other bloggers. Bea owns the wonderful blog in Italian Viaggiando con Bea, in which she shares her travels and her recipes. We have been following each other’s blogs for over 8 years now, in which Bea left over 100 comments on mine. After such a long time it feels like you get to know a person a little, but it’s nothing compared to meeting in real life. And so when I am traveling, I always contact blogging friends that I know live in the area I’m traveling to. Milan, in this case. It was a great pleasure to meet Bea and her husband Gigi, and we spent a wonderful evening with them.
Bea had selected the trattoria we went to, and she had to go through a bit of trouble, as most of the good trattorie were still closed for summer vacation. We ended up in a Milanese trattoria called Antica Trattoria Galleria with classic local dishes such as saffron risotto alle with ossobuco.
Gigi suggested we get a bottle of Roverone di S. Colombano, which is the only DOC wine from Milano. It’s made from 40% Barbera, 40% Croatina, 18% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and it was very nice.
For antipasti we had “Il trionfo Milanese” (the Milanese triumph), with a selection of antipasti. It included:
- Mondeghili: deep fried Milanese meatballs with salsa verde
- Nervetti: veal cartilage from the knee and shin, boiled and made into a type of terrine formed by the gelatin, served as a salad with red onions and white beans
- Fritelle di Cervella: deep fried veal brain
- Bucce: deep fried potato skins
- Grana cheese with honey and walnuts
This was all very nice. I especially enjoyed the deep fried brain, which had a very pleasant texture. Think of fried sweetbreads, but with a more dramatic difference in texture between the crispy outside and soft inside.
As primo we had a risotto alla longobarda, with porcini mushrooms, taleggio cheese, and saffron. The risotto was served perfectly al dente and about as ‘dry’ as I usually serve risotto (which is sometimes served more ‘wet’, which is called all’onda).
As secondo I had selected deep fried frog legs. They were deep fried in batter, crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. Frogs are a local ingredient because the frogs are caught in the rice fields where the rice for risotto is cultivated. The frog legs were quite small and had little bones inside, so I had to eat them carefully.
After all of this, there was no room left for dessert (again).
It was a great experience to try some unusual dishes I had never tried before. I had tried frog legs before, but not brain or cartilage. And of course we had the wonderful company of Bea and Gigi. Bea gifted me a cookbook with recipes from Brianza (the region of Milan), so I will have new recipes to discover and blog about when I’m back home.