Ticino’s typical grotti are rustic, out-of-theway eateries generally situated in shady areas, far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Boasting cool constant temperatures year-round, partially due to the vents in the rocks through which cold air blows, in days gone by they served as our grandparents’ “refrigerators”. Now open to the public, many of them are equipped with granite tables and benches, where you can dine al fresco, beneath age-old, leafy trees. Despite some inevitable concessions to contemporary cuisine, they generally serve wholesome local fare including locally-produced cold cuts (salami and mortadella), minestrone, risotto, vitello tonnato, roast meats (hot or cold), braised meat and polenta, rabbit, mushrooms and a variety of soft and hard cheeses, zabaione and torta di pane (a kind of cake made from bread). Merlot wine and a typical fizzy drink called gazzosa can be sipped from a “boccalino” (a jug-shaped mug) or a small cup known as a “tazzino”.

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Ticino a Tavola