South Tyrol


The geographically nominated area of Trentino Alto (Upper) Adige is almost exclusively confined to the province of Bolzano. It is deserving of special attention as it is one of the areas of Italy steeped in the German language, customs and traditions of which its people are extremely proud. In fact, the inhabitants of Alto Adige see themselves much more as part of the wider Sudtirol (South Tyrol) region (a name used by Austrians to describe this area) rather than of Italy. Italy is considered something of a foreign country towards which the inhabitants feel a strong sense of opposition alternated with indifference, despite a flourishing tourist industry. A way of life that is also reflected in the culinary traditions of the area that have remained almost entirely unchanged throughout the centuries by a population which jealously defends its Germanic heritage from outside influence; a heritage that is invariably reflected not only in its cuisine but in wedding and funeral rituals, as well as at festivals and generally in everyday life.
It is interesting to note how different the cuisine of Alto Adige differs from that of the Trentino (the area around Trent) in the manner in which food is prepared: take for example the "knodel" which is something of an everyday food for people in Alto Adige and is made with a wide variety of ingredients using almost always a rye bread; on the other hand, the Italianized version of 'canederli' is made almost exclusively from a simple recipe which allows for very few variants and uses white bread which is then served in broth or with a goulash.
Such differences can also be seen in the openness to new types of food which in Alto Adige are usually met with strong resistance: even after their introduction , people from the Trentino can usually be relied upon to remain faithful to the original recipe, while the Germanic Alto Adige, even today, still consider a side-serving such foods as spaghetti. In this region it is as well to limit oneself to the local foods which are nonetheless exquisite being made all the more edible by the harsh climate.