Skip to main content

Sugar n' spice, and everything nice: Merano xmas market

Mein Beck bakery kiosk
German-style breads, pastries and cookies at Mein Beck Bäkerei.

Intro: while savoring a greedy mouthful from a pot of chili con carne over the stove, I said to myself, "Well this woulda been better with cheddar; wish I could fly to the UK right now." Then I began smiling at the crazy impulsiveness of it all because in our kitchen, cheese is undeniably the be-all and end-all of food indulgence. Formaggio frenzy. Cheese disease? Waxy golden wheels and mold-covered rounds, pyramids, logs and squares. Pungent wedges. Complete appetite turn-ons. The best steak in the world doesn't even do that for me. Reflecting on that chili, whoever coined the phrase 'cheddar is better' is a damn genius.

Which leads me to the hardworking geniuses who orchestrate the festive Mercatini di Natale in Trentino Alto-Adige every year. In 2007 we attended the one in Trento, and while I may have been blinded by the smiling gnomes, the mulled wine, and the scrumptious canederli dumplings, part of me does not recall a tempting cheese kiosk at the fair. Merano's market, although smaller in size, turned out to be such a gold mine in foodstuffs that we made 3 visits within a week. Here, photos of the be-all, end-all, and then some.

Cheese, cheese, cheese!
Looks (and smells) much better in real life. No cheddar, but lots of local cheese.

Cheese at Merano xmas fair
The interchange of italian and german was interesting to note as käse is german for cheese.


I'm sorry, but I do not know how to pronounce this word. It (they) tasted good though!

Dinnede for me
Looking like an oblong mini-pizza, dinnede with speck (local smoked ham) and onions. The decorated booth for these dinnede was a favorite with visitors.

Dinnede for you
Dinnede are made from dough following an ancient recipe. No wonder they tasted so darn good! Onions, speck, potatoes, cheese and truffles are the primary toppings. Black "burnt" spots because they are baked in woodburning ovens.


From the same people in the very top photo. They go by the name of Krapfen. Yeah, they're like filled donuts but BETTER. So light in texture, not greasy at all, and filled with custard, apricot jam or nutella. These were selling at 1.80 euros a piece and customers were going crazy for them. Sugar-addicted fools; nutella-dependent freaks; I count myself as one of the insane. Homer Simpson would kill for these.

Popular posts from this blog

From Rifugio Martina to Monte San Primo (Bellagio)

Monte San Primo. Agile hikers aren't the only ones to climb up here in summer because the tell-tale aroma of ovine and caprine droppings invaded our nostrils long before reaching the top. Our intent was to go up then return on the mainly forested trail (right side of photo) that commences behind Rifugio Martina, but the ascent is so steep (average 14% grade) that I wasn't too keen on going back down through the bug-infested environment again. The top photo was taken looking back at S. Primo as we descended to connect with sentiero 1 and continue on a loop trail to the starting point. For those who may have ended up here for trails near Bellagio, take a look at this site to see what the fuss is all about and tell me that ain't gorgeous (scroll to bottom). Unfortunately, it was a hazy experience for us this past Sunday and thus the wait continues until a clear weekend comes along. In the meantime I've set our hiking goals to explore more of the area that is just 30…

Hiking in Parre (Bergamo) and its famous Scarpinocc

We're expanding our horizons (and stomachs) to include the province of Bergamo, specifically the mountains and valleys up north where cheese, pasta, polenta and even the language take on a flavor all its own. From what we've experienced, the vast Bergamo Alps is still largely untouched by foreign tourists as most everyone heads directly to Lake Como from Milan. Depending on your view that may be seen as a good or bad thing, but we hope to reveal some of the beauty on these pages. But first, what is this scarpinocc? I can't recall exactly how I first heard of them, but when the MotH and I walked into a pasta shop and asked if they had any to sell, we were told that the best place to go would be in the village in which they were made famous - Parre. Scarpinocc are a filled pasta (grana, bread crumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg) that resemble those medieval, pointed shoes worn long before rubbah slippahs and sneakers were conceived - think elf footwear and you should have an idea.…

Fun in the sun and snow at Alpe Giumello

Why do weekends with perfect weather always have to be so short? This past Saturday and Sunday was the one that anybody with a pulse has been wanting for a long time, the weekend with ZERO rain, no snowfall and nothing but blue skies all around. We had the intention of hiking around the base of Monte Muggio, a 3-hour loop trail that begins from the parking area at località Alpe Giumello, but ice on the trail made it a dangerous gamble. If we had been able to get to the very top of Monte Muggio it would have afforded us a spectacular panorama with Bellagio jutting out in the middle of the lake.Even if a good, long hike was out of the question, there was plenty of wide open space to go for a stroll. We walked the dogs out on the flat plains on the eastern side of Giumello, all of which were covered in a thick layer of packed snow. In less than 30 minutes time we had built up enough of an appetite for a quick lunch at Ristoro Genio, a cozy little bar and restaurant serving hot meals…