By Lake Como we mean here the eastern bank which stretches from Lecco in the south to Colico in the north. There are over 80 restaurants in the zone which can be split into fives areas; Lecco, the Lake, Brianza, Valle San Martino and Valsassina, Valvarrone and Val D'Esino.
Lake Como Dishes
They have all been collected together in a handy guide by the Lecco tourism authorities entitled 'Lecco & Provincia a Tavola'. Each restaurant has a dedicated page and has supplied a sample menu. We chose one at random and came up with the 'Pesa Vegia' in Bellano. The cosy place was offering such delights as grilled missoltino fish in extra virgin olive oil, salmon and trout mousse and golden perch.
But it's not all fish. The cuisine is also based on rice, corn, potatoes, cereals, grano saraceno and chestnuts. What also makes the dishes of the zone special are the 'condiments' or sauces. Look out for butter, lardo and local, very light olive oil.
Fish dominates the cuisine of Como and the surrounding towns. Don't miss out on the 'Missoltitt' fish from Lake Como.
These are dried in the sun then canned with marine salt in a distinctive container called a 'Missolta'. They are typically eaten having been grilled and served with polenta.
Also of note is the 'risotto with fillets of perch', 'lavarelli' with sage, and the tiny sprat like 'alborelle' either fried or marinated.
The bread of Como is cooked like pizzas, 'a legno' in a wooden oven while the fine olive oil has its own DOP mark and is called 'Laghi Lombardi'.