To be enjoyed in good company

THE PERFECT MOMENT
  • 14 september - 10.15
  • 25°
  • 367 m
  • Surprised

Zero-mile food is an interesting concept. Freshness and authenticity are guaranteed by products grown as locally as possible in the region itself. They often contain that typical holiday flavour, which is so difficult to recreate at home.

You managed to prise the recipe out of the chef when he visited your table after your meal. It wasn’t easy. You took notes and you’re sure you’ve got it all right. You bought the ingredients from the Saturday-morning market in the square. You’ve done your best, but for some reason your favourite holiday dish just doesn’t taste the same at home. It’s good, of course. The attention to detail and top-quality ingredients are obvious, but it's not like the dish you ate with your friends at the grotto on the last evening of your holiday.  

Regional products are all about traditions, customs and secret recipes handed down from father to son, grandmother to daughter-in-law. These products haven’t travelled across Europe in a lorry before reaching your table. The village shop, the butcher and even the bakery sell local farm produce. These products often find their way into the local supermarket too, featuring alongside the classic products we all recognise. And when it comes to wine, it is more local than ever in Mendrisio, sometimes even made by the restaurant itself. Wine isn't necessarily sold by wine shops here. You can simply visit a cellar and chose a bottle.  

Antico Grotto Ticino, Mendrisio.

Antico Grotto Ticino, Mendrisio.

Wine cellars of Mendrisio.

Wine cellars of Mendrisio.

Osteria Lanterna, Mendrisio.

Osteria Lanterna, Mendrisio.

Wine Tasting, Mendrisio Cellars.

Wine Tasting, Mendrisio Cellars.

Dinner at the grotto with friends, Mendrisio.

Dinner at the grotto with friends, Mendrisio.

Polenta and rabbit, typical Ticino dish.

Polenta and rabbit, typical Ticino dish.

Mendrisio is home to a road lined with grottos, which is actually called “Via delle Cantine” (Street of Cellars) due to the fact that every grotto has its own cellar next to the mountain, where the draughts that no one wants at home are the secret to their success. Zero-mile, low-energy, green air conditioning. Small holes in the walls allow the cold air of Monte Generoso to penetrate the interior, keeping the wine and other food products cool. The temperature is constant – not too cold in the winter and pleasantly fresh in the summer.  

The table in the clearing outside, beneath the large chestnut tree typical of grotto gardens, is reserved for your evening meal. The evening begins with a mouthwatering wine tasting session, standing around a wooden barrel. You swirl the wine around the glass in an expert fashion and sniff the aroma, confirming its fruity scent, appreciating its beautiful straw-yellow colour and its white floral hints.  

It’s highly likely that you won’t just choose a wine to drink with your meal this evening, but also some wine to take home. Because you already know you’ll need an excellent wine to serve with the typical dish from Ticino you’re going to cook back at your house.

Marialuce Valtulini, - Cheesemaker
Marialuce Valtulini,Cheesemaker
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