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
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
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
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.