I am back! It’s been a long couple of months, busy with work, and some significant changes in my career. But I also had the pleasure to visit my home country, and while there, I went to one of my absolute favorite places in the world: South Tyrol.
Officially the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, South Tyrol is an autonomous province in Northern Italy, one of the two that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. Its history is complicated and fascinating, and the result is that the population there speaks German as their first language, followed by Italian. They also have their own dialect, Ladino, which constitutes the third language in the region.
The magnificence of South Tyrol – which is also home of UNESCO world heritage sites – comes from, in part, the majestic Dolomites. This year we visited Campo Tures, a small village in Valle Aurina. As you can see from the slideshow below, the mountains and nature were incredible.
As it often happens in Italy, every region carries its own culinary tradition, and South Tyrol is not an exception. Intrigued by what I saw around me in bakeries and pastry shops, I ventured into a small local store, which had books, as well as stationary, and asked for a cookbook with regional recipes. Unfortunately they only had the German version, but I bought it anyway and came home with a heavy copy of So Backt Südtirol, which, I was told, everyone in the area owned.
You already know what I am going to say… in the next few months I will try some recipes – thanks to Google translate – and share them with you. Today I start with this wholesome cake, made with buckwheat, hazelnut meal, and shaved chocolate. They suggest using either cranberry or apricot jam in the center. Since I like the tartness of cranberries, I quickly made cranberry jam – they can be found frozen when not in season.