Gargnano is a land rich in tasty foods that take their unique fl avours from the rugged calcareous soil and temperate micro-climate.
Traditional foods include the lemons and citrons still grown in the ancient groves according to traditional methods; olives, which produce a renowned extra-virgin olive oil characterized by a delicate herbal and s lightly spicy taste;
olives, which produce a renowned extra-virgin olive oil characterized by a delicate herbal and s lightly spicy taste; capers, with the wonderful fl owers of the plant, which grows wild on the stone walls exposed to the sun; fresh fi sh from the lake, including chub, whitefi sh, trout, pike, perch, eel and the famous large lake carp, which is found only in this lake, at great depths. Small farms provide milk for genuine cheese made from cow’s milk and goat’s milk.
The hunting tradition in the area provides abundant game, especially wild boar, which has a particular, wild taste.
is the true local dish. Five varieties of meat, alternated with pieces of potato and sage leaves, are cooked on skewers over a grill and basted with plenty of melted butter and salt to slowly brown over 4 to 5 hours. It is served with polenta, moistened with the same sauce.
Marinate the thin, outer-part of the peel of 12 lemons (better if still green) in half a litre of pure alcohol for 1 day in a closed container and then remove the peels. Melt 500 grams of sugar in 80 cl of water on the stove. The newly-formed syrup is cooled and mixed with the alcohol. Then it is set to rest in a closed container for at least 10 days. Serve cold from the refrigerator. Any small, dark, fl oating particles attest to the presence of the lemon essential oils and are a sign of authenticity..
The favourable Mediterranean climate allows the grapes to be grown that make wines such as the white Lugana, typical of the area south of Sirmione; Groppello, also known as Red Valtenesi, made using half Groppello grapes and the rest from Marzemino, Barbera and Sangiovese grapes, and Claret, a rosé wine made from the same grapes as the Groppello, vinifi ed as a white wine with soft pressing.
Gargnà, Casaliva, Frantoio, Leccino, Miniòl, and Pendolino are the names of the varieties of olive trees that grow in Gargnano. Always cold-pressed, shortly after harvesting, they yield a light, extra-virgin olive oil with very low acidity that is slightly bitter and spicy, with aromas ranging from artichokes, almonds, cut grass, vanilla, and fl owers. A bit of trivia: Lake Garda is the northernmost place in Europe where olives are grown.