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Culture 2000

European Union



The typical cuisine of the Dolomites is a poor cuisine where the few ingredients available in the mountains are cleverly combined together (corn, potatoes, cabbage, some meat and mainly dairy products.

The main winter dish is polenta (which is the bread of the mountaineer) served with tosela and formai frit (two kinds of fried cheese), luganega (sausage) and mushrooms; a variation could be polenta together with crauti (sauer kraut) osi (smoked beef) and scorzete (pork sausage).


During the summer most people lived in the higher pastures with the cattle. During this period of the year everything revolved around milk and its products (cream, butter, cheese and most of all tosela)

During the eighteenth and nineteenth century it was a tradition that some noble families from the town of Fiera went up on the malghe to have a sunday meal based on dairy products (casada)

Casada is made preparing a layer of steaming polenta on which is poured over poina (fresh cottage cheese or curd still warm) and lots of spoi (fresh cream just made) it all is served together with smorum and abundant sgnapa (grappa)


Make a batter with egg, flower, milk and a little salt. Pour the batter in a pan and fry it in butter; when the batter solidifies break it into small pieces and add some thin slices of apple and sugar, when it is cooked cover it with cranberry jam.

The Story of Casada

According to a very old legend, there was a time when in the Dolomites man lived by breeding cattle (cows, sheeps and goats) but did not know how to turn milk into cheese, butter, cream.

It was a time when our forests and mountains still swarmed with elfs, goblins and fairies.

In the woods toward the South of Primiero lived a little gnome known as Matharol.

He was dressed of red, had a long beard and a wide-brimmed hat and lived with his goats at the foot of the Sass de Mur. Woe to those who walking in the wood stepped on his footprints; they lost their memory and were compelled to follow the Matharol's track. And that's what happened to Nenota, a young girl from Primiero: She stepped over the footprints and found herself in the Matharol cave remembering nothing of her previous life. She spent some time working for the little gnome up in the mountains and here she learned some of his secrets; she leaned that with milk she could make delicious things. When she finally managed to recover her memory and get back to her family she taught them how to make casada , tosela and many other things. Unfortunately she did not have the time to learn the most important secret from the little gnome: how to turn whey into wax...

A secret that has remained buried beneath the picks of the Dolomites.

design: Kai M. Wurm
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