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Although the Milanese kitchen is not as famous as the Southern Italian or Tuscan cuisine, they still have a few specialties. If you want to eat local you have to try  these while visiting the city!

First of all, the risotto alla Milanese. There are different varieties on this dish but the main idea is a nice Italian risotto spiced with saffron, which gives the dish its bright yellow color. Though the secret ingredient of the traditional recipe is the use of marrowbone in the broth!

The Milanese often serve this risotto with their variation of the Ossobuco. Ossobuco is a veil shank that is cooked in some of the main ingredients for meat in the Italian kitchen: meat broth, onions, parsley, garlic, lemon and of course lots of olive oil. But even this dish has its own variations. A very popular one nowadays is a variation that’s cooked with fresh tomatoes, so it’s served in a rich tomato sauce.

Next to risotto, the Northern Italians like to use polenta to serve their meat with. Polenta is cooked and mashed cornmeal. A typical winter dish that is served with polenta is cassoeula. This is a classic casserole that consists of (usually the cheapest) parts of the pig, sausages, vegetables and the main ingredient: cabbage. Altogether this is cooked in a large pan for about three hours before it’s ready. It has a very strong flavour so it’s best complimented with the rather dull polenta.

Then there is the cotoletta alla Milanese. This is a dish I never thought was really “Italian”, because it resembles the Austrian wiener schnitzel a lot! It’s a veal cutlet with the bone still attached, breaded and fried in butter. It’s usually served with just a fresh slice of lemon or sometimes a warm tomato sauce. In some sandwhich shops they even serve it in a panini!

The panettone is one of the symbols of the Milan cuisine. It’s a sweet bread loaf with candied fruits and raisins inside. Traditionally baked for the December holidays, nowadays it’s available almost throughout the whole year!


Melissa - Born and raised in my beautiful hometown of Amsterdam, I studied in Milan for one semester during my Mediastudies degree and fell in love with the city! So when I graduated I decided to move back and here I am writing about my favourite places in Milan!