Grottos, typical of Ticino, are rustic establishments - often family businesses - usually located in remote and shaded areas. Inside you'll discover the cosy, unique and genuine ambiance of a simple tavern, often with an open fireplace. Usually, local products and dishes are cooked with love and served with a smile.
Ticinese cuisine, which is closely related to that of Lombardy, is, like in all regional gastronomies, the result of a continuous process that lies somewhere between evolution and preservation.
The poor and monotonous food of the last centuries, when the majority of the Ticinese people lived off chestnuts, polenta and potatoes, slowly became richer. New food, flavours and recipes came into the picture with the changing of the times, also thanks to Ticinese immigrants that brought back different culinary ideas from the countries they visited.
At the same time, however, Ticinese cuisine preserved several of its characteristics: the use of genuine products, the simplicity of dishes tied to the rural world and the fondness for tasty flavours. Today it proposes dishes prepared according to the recipes that have been handed down from one generation to another but also the modern re-visitation of traditional recipes.
The following are among some of the most renowned and appreciated Ticinese dishes: minestrone, pumpkin soup and busecca, risotto, roasted meats (rabbit, kid), and polenta with Luganighetta sausage or brasato (braised meat), baked, sautéd or marinated fish from the river or lake.
Among drinks, besides local red and white wines, there is fresh and thirst quenching lemonade called gazzosa (which my kids love) but also grappa and ratafià (also called nocino), a liqueur made from walnuts of which, they say, only friars know the original recipe.
Sunday lunch at Grotto Mulino
Served with love: Vellutata di zuccha
Brasato con polenta and a boccalino of Merlot ticinese