From the tradition, the first Christmas courses of Valle d’Aosta
First Christmas courses of Valle d’Aosta
Valle d’Aosta is a border region with predominantly mountainous territory: it borders the north with Switzerland, to the west with France and to the south and east to Piedmont. Its physical-geographic features are reflected in the kitchen, rich in contaminations and dishes perfect to be eaten with the low temperatures that characterize this part of Italy.
First Christmas courses of Valle d’Aosta: carbonade
Carbonade is an antique dish typical of the Western Alps, also common in southeastern France and Belgium, whose name derives from the ancient cooking on the embers.
It is a plate of tender beef, which is kept in salt for many days and cooked slowly with onion sauce and white wine (now also prepared with red wine). The accompanying sauce is dense and dark, rather narrow.
In the past, the meat was stored using salt, as there was no fridge or freezer. To the meat were added spices and other flavors to give it taste, including bay tree leaves, onions and thyme. The meat was placed in layers alternating with salt and herbs and kept pressed by a wooden axis and stones to make the brine run out. After 15/25 days it was cooked.
The dish is traditionally paired with an abundant and tasty corn meal mush and can be combined with a full bodied wine structured like a Chianti Classico.
irst Christmas courses of Valle d’Aosta: zuppa alla Valpellinentze
The soup takes its name from the village of Valpelline, a few kilometers north of Aosta, and is known with numerous names, including the Valpelleunèntse, the French Soupe à la Valpelleneintse or the Italian soup of Valpelline. It is one of the Valdostan dishes of the popular peasant tradition based on cabbage, whole grain bread and, for instance, fontina cheese and salami. During the winter days, maybe after a good skiing session, this soup is great for giving warmth and energy, since it is absolutely nourishing, hyper-caloric and tasty.