A guy from Bologna meets and marries a gal from Russia. All fine and good, but when they decide to hold their wedding up in the mountains in Val di Sole in Trentino-Alto Adige you can’t help but wonder: will the food be Bolognese, Russian or, please please please, Trentino?
Pre-wedding I had been afforded a look at the excellent choice of wines, all from Trentino including a delicious and fragrant Nosiola, but when I tried to get some information on the food, well you’d have thought I’d ask the see the bride’s wedding dress. So as I followed the ceremony in a beautiful little church, I mulled over the Bolognese-Russian-Trentino question and weighed the possibilities.
I gave Bolognese a 35% chance of being the pick, after all it is one of Italy’s most vaunted cuisines and you certainly would be hard pressed to complain if somebody served you tortellini and mortadella at a wedding. Russian was a long shot since a plate of stewed cabbage and ground beef (my probably erroneous idea of what a Russian meal might include) would have been too much of a shock for the Italians present so I put that at 15%. That meant I was giving an even 50% chance at Trentino food, which I realize is a total cop out, kind of like when you hear the weather report and they say there’s a 50% chance of rain. What does that really mean anyway? If I live the same day over 100 times, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, then it’s going to rain 50 times?
No matter, Trentino it was, which is as it should be because what’s better than eating the local food (except when you go for dinner at my friend David’s)? Does risotto alla milanese ever taste as good as when you’re in Milan? Is a hotdog ever any better than when you have it with a beer at the baseball stadium? And can canederli be better than at a friend’s wedding in Trentino? Nothing, no, no, no.
On that last (rhetorical) question I realize many will disagree seeing how canederli are an integral part of the cuisine of southern Germany as well as Austria. These simple balls of bread, milk and egg (with the addition usually of cheese, speck, or spinach) served in a warm broth are quintessential comfort food. Sounds a bit like a matzo ball cause the two are pretty close (substitute bread with matzo meal and hold the speck).
There was more, much much more, to eat. Click on the menu to have a look, but only if you aren’t hungry. And lest I forget, many congratulations to the newly weds Andrea and Olga.