Eat local food is the most important thing to do in Italy!
One of the typical local food that everyone have to eat is defenetly the one called “toc“: a kind of polenta rich in butter and cheese.
In the past the farmers used what they produced: flour, butter and cheese made from the milk of their cows. The “toc” was a rich dish suitable for celebrating special occasions.
How to eat Toc
The cauldron was placed at the center of the hall and the guests sat around it in a circle, as is still done today. Once ready every one is eating straigt from the big pot with woodden spoon.
Butter, cheese, water and local corn meal should be used. Moderating the heat is fundamental so the polenta doesn’t stick to the cauldron.
When it is cooked, add the butter then the cheese, cut into pieces, and blend them little by little, and stirring continually with the rodech. It’s not an easy preparation; only an expert can do it well!
Once eaten and the cauldron is emptied, move on to the preparation of the “ragell”. Basic ingredient is red wine to which is added: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, sugar, orange and lemon zest and an apple cut into pieces.
It is curious that the cauldron isn’t perfectly cleaned and the leftovers of “toc” get left in, which will give a characteristic taste.
The “toc” Maestro then puts the cauldron back on the fire with the wine and spices and at that point creates a scenery effect of a cauldron in flames.
If you are in Bellagio you can’t miss to eat local food and try “toc” and its ritual!
Some typical restaurant can cook Toc and ragell – only booking it in advance (at least for 6 people) – or a Toc Maestro can prepare a local dinner just for you at Nenè Kitchen in San Giovanni hamlet.