Butter is the basis of the condiments used in Lombard cooking, and it has a history which goes way back in time.
The history of its use, in fact, as handed down by Plutarch precedes even the Roman conquest of this region. In “Parallel Lives” he tells of a dinner which took place in Milan at the house of Valerio Leone and at which the guest of honour was Julius Caesar. At this meal the guests were offered, amongst other things, a dish of asparagus dressed with butter which, in all truth, at that time was used more as an ointment for massages. Those partaking of the meal, therefore, were surprised and somewhat vexed to find themselves presented with such a dish, whereas Caesar appeared to appreciate it and made this clear by reproaching his escorts for what he considered to be their discourteous behaviour.
Still nowadays in Lombardy, and above all in the province of Cremona, an excellent quality of butter is produced even at an industrial level. In this region butter is widely used, with respect to other areas of Italy, despite the ostracism imposed by dreaded diets which are terrorized by cholesterol.