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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Asparagi di Zambana

In May and June in Trentino there are several fairs and special menus devoted to asparagi, one of the favourite vegetables of the locals in their short season, traditionally eaten with eggs.

The king of the genre is produced in a small town near Trento called Zambana. Its white asparagus is quite something, soft, with no detectable fibre, delicately flavoured.

Its unique characteristics are the consequence of the particularly sandy soil around the river in the Zambana area.

We tried the special asparagi menu at Trattoria Giorgio, one of the historical venues in Zambana. The general level of the cuisne was not something to write home about, so we won't, but despite this the aparagi were excellent, and cooked in many different ways:

Finely chopped and served in oil:

Battered and fried, and in butter:

As a cream, with whole bits and parsley:

In risotto (though the one served to us and reproduced below was not proper risotto, you get the idea):

As a spring salad (they put industrial mozzarella in the dish, but with a nice and delicate cheese it could be really good):

And finally..with scrambled eggs:

There was no asparagus dessert, but surely there must be a way...

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