In Bolsena, fishing and agriculture are the main traditional activities, thanks to its geographical position between the hills and the lake.
Fishing gives excellent results for quality and quantity. The most fished species is the lavaret – with its delicate taste – which mostly reaches the northern Italy markets. The most famous fish is the eel – it is also a typical Christmas dish in Central Italy – and the rare and delicious pike is the most appreciated food by the local people. In the culinary tradition of Bolsena, fishes like big-scale sand smelts, perches, trout, tench etc… play a fundamental role and in fact there are many gastronomic recipes to cook them (roasted, fried, marinated, used as condiment for pasta or risotto and as filling for ravioli and canapés).
The most delicious receipts:
- Lavaret, grilled and seasoned with rosemary or wild dry fennel of Bolsena or boiled and seasoned with green sauce (prepared with parsley, garlic, capers, olive oil, vinegar/lemon). The refined palates prefer it stewed. From the 90s the fillet of lavaret is marinated with vinegar – a dish which is an antipasto (appetizer) for many restaurants and trattorias;
- Eel “alla vernaccia” (“vernaccia” is a local wine), roasted, fried or stewed: a dish for gourmets;
- Pike “alla bolsenese”;
- Fried or cooked in pan fillet of perch;
- Tench soup with homemade linguine;
- Fried atherinas and largemouth bass or perch (with lemon and/or vinegar).
Vegetables (tomatoes, “scatolone” tomato, onions, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, zucchinis) and fruit (peaches, apricots, plums, strawberries, pears, prunes, cherries, muskmelons, watermelons…) are products of agriculture and they are cultivated in plains, near to the lake.
The hilly areas offer an excellent olive oil and delicate wines. In the areas around the basin of the lake, legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes are cultivated. With these ingredients excellent soups are cooked.
All this food can be accompanied by excellent local D.O.C. (controlled designation of origin) wines coming from the basin of the lake: Canuleio (white) of Bolsena, Est Est Est of Montefiascone (white, dry or sweet, moderately alcoholic and delicate), Cannaiola of Marta (red) and Aleatico of Gradoli (red).