In these valleys, which are lacking in agricultural resources and production facilities, the diet was based on polenta, potatoes, pulses, dairy products, meat and eggs. Traditional dishes included potato and bean soup, polenta with cheese or some kind of accompaniment and, for special occasions, there were simply more generous portions. The local drink was cider, the only alcoholic beverage produced in the mountains by fermenting apple juice or crushed pears. Among the many traditional recipes, you will find below some of the local dishes which are of ethnographic and linguistic interest.
Herb-filled ravioli topped with melted butter;
Soft polenta with warm milk poured on top;
Cornmeal flour toasted in a frying pan and eaten dipped in milk;
Wheat flour fried in a pan and added to milk;
Sër Ponöw or Frico
Melted cheese browned in a pan with butter;
Bread made from cornmeal and rye flour, wrapped in a savoy cabbage leaf and baked;
Focaccia made from a dough of wheat flour, butter, egg, sugar and sultanas;
Slices of bread soaked in egg, fried in oil and coated in sugar;
As previous dish but with the addition of sugar and fennel seeds.
Alta Val Torre:
Mash made from a mixture of potato and beans, seasoned with melted butter or sautéed lard;
Soft polenta cooked in a pot in the same water used to boil beans or pre-cooked chestnuts – eaten dunked in milk or buttermilk;
Potato and cornmeal polenta, eaten with various stews.
Soft polenta obtained by briefly cooking cornmeal flour in butter and diluted milk.
Soft maize and wheat polenta, broken into pieces, seasoned with milk and sprinkled with grated mature cheese and fried in butter until browned.
White flour cooked in melted butter or sausage fat and milk; eaten by dipping in pieces of polenta.
Focaccia made from cornmeal, milk and a little butter and salt.
This is a fried cheese dish obtained by frying 4 or 5 potatoes, sliced into small pieces, together with an onion in a little oil. When almost cooked, fresh cheese (one month old) is added and mixed in until a crust is obtained on both sides. There are some variations of this dish without potatoes and with a more mature cheese, and/or with the addition of egg. Served with polenta. Lidric cul Argjel (Radicchio seasoned with lard)
Lard is an alternative to oil for seasoning radicchio, which must be of a sufficiently tough and hard-stalked variety, such as the Grumolo Verde or Trieste chicory, in order to avoid excessive withering. The oil can be replaced with pieces of lard which, when melted, can be poured over the radicchio which should be left to warm near a source of heat.
Frittata (omelette) with herbs
This is the most well-known Friulian frittata. Wild herbs are used, especially the bladder campion (Silene vulgaris), but also Butcher’s broom shoots, dandelion, hop shoots, nettles and the European white egg mushroom.
Brovade e Musét (sour turnips with cotechino sausage)
This is a winter dish often used as an alternative to the “national” dish of zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter) with lentils. The turnips are steeped in pomace for about 90 days, then grated and cooked over a low flame in an earthenware pot. When they are almost cooked, they are reheated together with the cotechino sausage which has been pre-cooked in stock. The dish is prepared in advance and reheated before serving.
Ucej scjampâts (literally “escaped birds” - roulades)
Slices of veal rolled up together with a piece of lard and a bay leaf, secured with a tooth pick, browned in a pan and served on a bed of semi-soft polenta.
Risotto seasoned with bladder campion (Silene vulgaris)
Chopped onion is fried in butter and a generous handful of bladder campion is added. The onion and herb mix is cooked until it has reduced by one quarter. Rice is then added and cooked, occasionally adding stock and finally a little white wine. The dish is seasoned with mature Montasio cheese.