The ‘Polenta Cusa’ is a tasty specialty from Lake Garda.
It’s a unique dish that combines Mediterranean elements, like extra-virgin olive oil from the Garda area, and ingredients from the mountains, such as rich cheeses with an intense flavour, as well as a good dollop of malga butter.
This dish is popular throughout the Brescia province, but it can also be enjoyed in a slightly different version along the Verona and Trentino shores - in fact, the best way to enjoy polenta cusa is during village festival around the lake!
The polenta is called cünsa or üta, in dialect and is also known as polenta pasticciata or concia. In any case, it refers to a dish made up of different ingredients, that blend together.
The process to make polenta cusa is very simple - you start by making regular polenta with corn flour, stirring it patiently until cooked. At this point, if you want to enjoy excellent polenta cusa, you need quality cheeses such as those produced in the mountains of the Alto Garda Bresciano Park. Traditionally we use a mixture of cheeses, including fresh and aged varieties, but Garda PDO is always included!
As a last step, just before serving it warm and oozing with melted cheese, some malga butter from the Alto Garda Bresciano Park and a large glass of Garda olive oil are added - a perfect match!
A curious fact? One of the versions of polenta cusa provides another traditional Garda ingredient. At the end of the cooking process, bleak are added - these are small lake fish, previously sautéed in a pan and fried with a knob of butter.