Milan is inevitably linked to being a capital of fashion. The food, from Panettone to Brioche or Risotto Milanese is worth a separate chapter as well.
So how do Milanese start their day? Yes, with espresso. Accompanied with brioche. And definitely, taking a short walk to one of the cozy Pasticceria is the perfect start into an exciting day in Milan. You can find the mall across the city. One of my favorites is the small Pasticceria Angelo close to Piazza Firenze. From there it takes you less then 10 minutes to get into the city center with line 1.
When you go there during Christmas time, like we did, there is one thing you cannot miss: the typical Milanese Christmas treat: Panettone whose origin dates back to ancient times. In fact, it has become so popular that even the fashion world has begun to notice it: Dolce & Gabbana branded its own Panettone. But back to a bit a of history: Although more then enough legends have grown up around the famous cake, there might be two of them being the most famous ones: One tells the story of a banquet held at the court of Ludovico il Moro on Christmas Eve. The dessert that the chefs had planned to serve was accidentally burned. So the chef took the advice of his young assistant Toni who suggested that he serves the cake just like it is, justifying its burned crust as an integral part of the dessert. Another legend tells the story of Ughetto degli Atellani, a Milanese noblemen, who was in love with Adalgisa, the daughter of a baker. He disguised himself as a backer’s boy and prepared a sweet bread filled with raisins, canded orange and citrus peel. And of course Adalgisa fell in love with him….
When the day is passing by and a bit of hunger coming back, another typical Milanese dish you will love is the famous Risotto Milanese.
Risotto alla Milanese is probably the dish that best typifies the cooking of Milan. This risotto follows the classic way for making risotto, but having to specific ingredients that give it its unique flavor and character. As many of you will already know, it is flavored with saffron—which gives it a beautiful gold color—but perhaps fewer people know that in a true risotto alla milanese, the soffritto must include beef marrow. The marrow lends a beefy background flavor to the dish, as well as a subtle richness and unctuousness.