The food of the inhabitants in Val d'Ossola has always been conditioned by the surrounding environment. Hard winters and limited movement favoured the development of small-scale trade and animal husbandry. Thus in a culture marked by poverty and rural life, simple and natural food habits have been handed down over the centuries. This has allowed the genuine foods and authentic flavours to become established, due to products selected and processed in the area. In addition to the cultivation of cereals and wheat, cheeses and wines have also been very successful and have become famous and loved today.


In Val d'Ossola, cheese culture has very ancient roots. The earliest evidence dates back even to the 1000s, when the work of cheese production was described in a document. In addition, the territory has always offered quality food for local animal husbandry that, combined with long experience, has encouraged the emergence of unique products.
The DOP Ossolano cheese is solid and elastic, with a variable colour from straw to intense yellow depending on the length of maturing. It has a harmonious and delicate aroma, linked to the seasonal varieties of the flora, which becomes more intense and fragrant with ageing.
Bettelmatt, also stemming from Val d'Ossola, is an excellent compact, soft cheese, with limited production during the summer months and in only seven alpine pastures. In fact, it is only here that a very rare herb, the mottolino herb, is found that is capable of giving the milk a particular aroma. Thanks to its characteristics, the Bettelmatt is considered one of the most extraordinary alpine cheeses in the Alps.


The right dish is accompanied by the right wine and in these parts the wines are many and excellent. On the terraces of the Piana del Toce are produced the Valli Ossolane DOC wines which are characterised as Rosso, Nebbiolo, Nebbiolo Superiore and Bianco. The Rosso type is noted for its intense vinous scent and all the others are fruity and delicate. Red wines can be served as wines for the whole meal or in combination with cheeses, pasta and meat dishes. White wine is matched with light dishes based on fish, vegetables and fresh cheeses.


If you want to study the history and the food and wine culture of the local Ossola cuisine in greater depth, scattered throughout the valley you will find ancient Community ovens, mills and oil mills. Discover authentic flavours from distant roots.

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