Valle d’Aosta, Aosta Valley, is a region in the northwest of Italy; it is the smallest and least populated, but in terms of food and typical products it is an authentic treasure.
Among all, cheeses stand out, which are the absolute excellences: Toma of Gressoney, Formadzo, Bleu d’Aoste, Reblec, made according to the tradition, with good mountain milk.
The most famous cheese is certainly Fontina DOP, a cheese of ancient traditions, made exclusively with whole milk of cows raised in the Aosta Valley, fed with grass of pastures or hay.
After a period of maturation, usually of three months, the shapes marked with a logo representing the stylized Mount Cervino, are ready for sale: those with an identification number of less than 500 are produced with Alpine milk, the others are dairy.
To learn more, we recommend visiting the Museum of Fontina in the village of Frissonnière in Valpelline: photographs, objects, films and documents lead to the discovery of the history and processing of this tasty cheese. The visit includes the spectacular underground warehouses where about 60000 forms ripen in the bowels of the earth, partly in the wet tunnels of a copper mine active until 1946.
Fontina is the main ingredient of various traditional dishes, such as Fondue, Polenta alla Valdostana and Seuppa a la Vapelenentse.
The DOP Arnad Lard is another of the most famous delicacies of the Valley; it is obtained exclusively from the shoulder of Italian pigs.
Properly seasoned with spices, mountain herbs, garlic and salt, the pieces of lard rest for at least 90 days (6 months the most seasoned version) in the doils, traditional containers of oak or chestnut. Thinly sliced, this delicacy is enjoyed with rye bread or on slices of toasted polenta.
At the factories producing cold meats and salami, you can taste and buy fresh and seasoned meats: lard, game salami, potatoes or beet boudin (with or without pig’s blood); the beef motzetta made with Aosta Valley meat, tetun (salted cow udders) and the chamois ham named Chamois Violin.
GREEDY FALL EVENTS
Honey Festival in Chatillon
On the last Sunday of October, Châtillon village becomes the capital of the Aosta Valley Honey, hosting the festival dedicated to this natural product and its derivatives; the central street of the village, invaded by the stalls of the local producers, becomes, for one day, the favorite place for lovers of this delicious food, who can also use the opportunity to taste delicious desserts.
Apples Festival in Gressan and “Melevallée” in Antey-Saint-André.
These two festivals, which are celebrated every year on the first and second Sunday of October respectively, are delicious occasions to taste specialties prepared with the different qualities of Valle d’Aosta apples: jellies, jams, juices, cider, pies and pies.
Marché au fort
In the picturesque setting of the Medieval village of Bard, dominated by the imposing Fort, the Marché au Fort takes place around the middle of October; it’s a food and wine showcase presentation, tasting and sale of the products of the Aosta Valley food culture.
Courmayeur Food Market
Small market of traditional, organic and protected agricultural products of the Aosta Valley on Sunday 3rd November