As the epicenter of “Mittle-Europe” Trieste has a bit of a “split personality” when it comes to its cuisine.
It is a city that offers some of the finest seafood, fished from the Adriatic — from the most refined crudi to heavenly fish stews to the everyday and much loved anchovy dishes (both versions “panadi” breaded and fried or marinated “in soar”) or the ubiquitous baccala’ served in a spread “mantecato”, as pasta filling in ravioli or simply baked with paper thin potato slices “alla Triestina”.
Equally at home in Trieste are the classics from their Austrian cousins, the many versions of cooked and cured meats to the various brats and wursts with raw Kren (horseradish), krauti (sauerkraut) and strudels. Thick hand cut slices of prosciutto, hams are also dirigeur as the belief is that the mechanized blades of commercial slicers heat up and break down the true flavors of the meats.
Also in the Triestine wheel-house are odes to their Slovenian neighbors to the East, Jota soup (a combo of Sauerkraut, potatoes, beans, pancetta and cumin seeds), Cevapcici (tiny sausages), Liptauer a blend of soft cheese and paprika and palatschinke (sweet crepes) and the famous Gnocchi di Susine (half a fresh plum which is filled with toasted breadcrumbs, sugar and cinnamon is then wrapped in potato gnocchi dough) boiled or fried and served with melted butter and sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top — these can be eaten as a pasta dish or dessert!
You cannot come to Trieste without trying one of the many “Buffets” – a local fast food lunch spot where you can eat well and reasonably which are often frequented by the local business people. Here hot and cold homey dishes rooted in the Austro-Hungarian tradition are served. Typical fare here are the “Cotto in Crosta” (ham baked in bread dough) and heaping plates of boiled meats and sausages from cooked in the “caldaia” a large pot usually set into the counter. The fragrances that waft into the street outside of these places are enticing….
Triestine dishes to try:
To start you off an Aperol Spritz, or a Hugo or a glass of Prosecco (referred to as “bollicine” tiny bubbles)
Osvaldo prosciutto (from nearby Spilimbergo) which I think is unrivaled
San Daniele prosciutto (which is from the nearby town famous worldwide for its prosciutto — the town is filled with “prosciutterias” that are sublime – worth a lunch stop)
Breaded Anchovies & Marinated Anchovies
Baccala’Mantecato on crostini
Crispy Frico (cheese wafers made with Montasio Cheese) or Soft Frico, with potatoes or polenta
Baked shellfish gratin
Misto di Caldaia (tasting plate of boiled meats)
Bigoli alla CassoPippa
Cotto in Crosta
Gnocchi di Susine
Carsolina (a millefeuille fille with pastry cream)
Triestines usually end dinner with a boozy lemon sorbet
I’m just hitting the tip of the iceberg as I only just got here so as we discover more delicacies we will update this post! And as always, PLEASE WRITE YOUR COMMENTS and SUGGESTIONS so we can learn more from you!