Many specialities come fresh into the valley every day direct from the surrounding meadows of Garda Trentino: tangy mountain cheese, cream cheese, yoghurt, quark (ricotta) and butter – made from high-quality cow’s milk or from fresh goat’s milk.
Garda Trentino and its surroundings are a real treasure trove for connoisseurs of fresh vegetables. A trip to the Val di Gresta is a must for vegetable lovers: not for nothing is it also referred to as the “Valle degli Orti”, the “valley of the vegetable gardens”. The terraced fields and wide range of vegetable varieties, many grown according to strict organic criteria, mean you can savour fine flavours with a clear conscience. One speciality of Garda Trentino is the purple-tinged potato grown in the Ledro Valley, used to prepare potato polenta, soups and gnocchi. Fans of the humble tuber should also seek out the mountain potato, nicknamed the “montagnine” and grown around Comano Terme.
But it’s not only the many vegetable types thriving in Garda Trentino that can be enjoyed, but also the many kinds of fresh fruit. Apples, pears, figs, peaches, table grapes or the many colourful varieties of berries, presented as fresh fruit as well as in jams, juices, syrups, sauces or as grappa – all taste delicious and provide abundant vitamins.
The special microclimatic conditions of Garda Trentino are also favoured by the black truffle and the golden-yellow saffron that thrive mainly near Monte Baldo and the Ledro Valley. Herbs too – such as mint, lemon balm, marigold, cornflower, lavender and mallow – enrich the local cuisine and are successfully used in therapies and cosmetics, while chestnuts are gathered in autumn, mainly in the woods around Drena, Tenno, Nago and Campi. Among the different sorts, the “Campi” chestnut is of particular note: it has also met the strict criteria of the De.Co. quality award for its attachment to the local tradition.
Honey production in Garda Trentino is also worthy of our attention, with millefiori, acacia, chestnut and dandelion honey just some of the high-quality honeys that are normally produced three times a year using modern techniques. They will enhance any breakfast buffet – and even give certain cheeses their special flavour.