The Val D’Aosta region has a real treasury of typical specialities, the most conspicuous of them being the Fontina Valdostana – a pale yellow cheese consisting of whole milk from cows grazing on mountainous areas at about 2,500 m asl.
Fontina cheese is the final touch or the main ingredient of a host of local and, more generally, lots of national dishes. Its most renowned brands are the Vallée d’Aoste Fromadzo, the Gressoney Toma, and the Bleu d’Aoste, etc..
Amongst the local, typical cured meats the best ones are the Teteun – cow’s udder, the Motzetta – meat of chamois, the Boudeun – a sausage obtained from pig’s blood blended with potatoes and seasoned with lard, salt and spices; and the Arnad DOP lard.
Another typical product of this region in the far north of Italy is the mountain wildflower honey, with it rich scent of flowers growing at altitude.
The parade of cakes and sweets of Val D ‘Aosta is opened by blanc manger, a cold dessert made with double cream and almonds similar to pannacotta, brochat, fiandolein, a sort of zabaione dessert made with whipped eggs, sugar and rum, and the ‘tiles‘ of Aosta, small round cookies served at cream tea or coming with ice cream cones.
Superb local wines are the Vallée d’Aoste DOC, Gewürztraminer, Gamaret, Erbaluce and Vuillermin. The prized Pinot Gris Muscat Chambave Flétri and Nus Malvoisie Flétri in Val D ‘Aosta also have a wide variety of brandies; particularly popular is Genepì, distilled from juniper berries.
Artisans from Val D’Aosta region are especially skilled at making hand-crafted items as well as wood carving , pillow lace embroidering, hemp spinning and processing of wrought iron, soapstone and leather which make fantastic souvenirs to take home after a holiday there!
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