Food in Bergamo, Italy


Even with the high standard of food in France, Italy can still rule the food world. There’s a strong tendency to promote local foods and, as in France, the local food and wine always matches. I was eager to try the local offerings and managed to bring home a few goodies. What is nice down there is that it’s polenta country. Jojo is allergic to wheat so her pasta and bread days are over. I brought home some local polenta and am working on new recipes that use it.

I was also curious about corn polenta since it obviously wasn’t always used. Before corn was introduced from the Americas, they used either chestnut or chickpea flour. In Liguria (along the coast) they still use chickpeas just as they do over in Nice where you can find delicious panisse to fry up. I’m pretty sure the chickpeas were introduced to Europe from the North Africans centuries ago so you can see how the food has had many influences over time.

Also interesting is that they offer so much organic food. The Italians spend a lot of money on organic. Even the non-organic products have an incredibly high level of quality. Wow, the Italians really do food right.

For those with a sweet tooth, this looks pretty good though I didn’t manage to sample it this time.

The local specialty of Bergamo by the name of casoncelli. (Seen above in the window.) It’s a stuffed pasta that is tossed with butter, sage and pancetta. If there is a tastier pasta dish out there, I haven’t tried it. (Not that I’m not interested in exploring.) I asked the waiter for local food and this was one of the items he suggested. I also tried a local braised beef served on polenta which was quite nice as well plus a regional wine.

Polenta e Osei cakes for sale. They’re made with cornmeal and wheat flour. Looked nice but I didn’t have a chance to try them this time.

Cherry tomato and caper pizza. Simple but delicious.

Cutting a slice of pizza with mushrooms, Parmesan and roquette. Amazingly good.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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13 Responses to “Food in Bergamo, Italy”

  1. Ryan says:

    My two week trip to Italy back in 2003 was by far my favorite trip ever.

    I’d love to figure out a way to live there and make a living.

  2. Amanda says:

    This is making me wish my April trip to Sicliy was happening now! LOL

    That last pizza sounds insanely good…

    Thanks to the first commenter for the details on Sicilian food — I’m reading up for my trip now so every detail is really helpful!

    Oh and I too adore the food in France. Italian food is great (I’ve been to Tuscany; Sicliy is trip #2 to Italy) and while the food in Tuscany was fantastic, the food in France (Provence specifically) was out of this world — simple but amazing. It was excruciating coming back to the USA from that trip…

  3. elizabethcostello says:

    Part of our problem, Visceral, is that we let food companies (corporations) determine our cuisine, or at least they do it for a huge swath of the American populace. We also fixate on the pseudo-scientific, therapeutic, instrumental, etc. aspects (misguided often) of food, rather than on enjoying it, sharing it, integrating it into our lives. Many people eat “to lose weight,” or “to gain pounds,” or “to cut carbs,” or “to follow a Caveman’s diet,” or “because this is cheaper,” etc., without thinking about how cooking at home, even using very simple methods, can produce low-cost, healthy and healthful, delicious meals.

  4. elizabethcostello says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I love the food in France, but I have to say, having visited Italy (Sicily) for the first time this past winter, I was *blown* away by the Italian food we ate, whether in a restaurant or in someone’s home. I even brought back a bricklike piece of hard Sicilian Ricotta, which has a rich salty flavor, and judiciously use it with any number of home preparations.

  5. KarenMrsLloydRichards says:

    Too bad you missed the ‘Degustazione de Bresaola’ at Al Donizetti in the Citta Alta. 15 euros for a big plate of Air-Dried Beef Bliss!

  6. Visceral says:

    Why does American food need to suck so bad?

    We’re heading in exactly the opposite direction from Italy to a future where all food will be made entirely of refined wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fatty acids, none organic and all loaded up with pesticides, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and eventually psychoactive medication to keep the peasants from revolting.

  7. gatsby10 says:

    It’s not even 8.00 a.m. here in NYC and I’m already drooling just looking at that dish of pasta!

  8. Indigo says:

    All that. And Olive Garden. Don’t forget Olive Garden!

  9. Indigo says:

    Yummy yum yum!

  10. leo from chicago says:

    Yea, pizza rustica! I lived on it for two years in Rome.

    Cultural note: the popular ‘deep dish’ pizza in Chicago which is routinely scorned by foodie snobs as not being real pizza actually has its antecedents in the thick crusted pizza with all those trimmings (my favorite used to be tuna with salad) that you could get on any corner in Roma or Napoli.

    Of course the foodie snobs wouldn’t know this ’cause their Italian experience is confined to Manhattan and Dupont Circle.

    Just saying…

  11. tyree says:

    Feed me elmo feed me!

  12. Drew2u says:

    Thanks, Chris! I had the fortune to visit a good friend in Torino last year and found Northern Italy to be very awesome! I hope next time it won’t take me 5 years to visit again.

  13. cowboyneok says:

    Dang, that stuff looks GOOD!

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