Bergamo is a land boasting a varied and tasty range of gastronomic products: from cheeses and desserts to cured pork meats to polenta, culinary delights exist to satisfy every palate. The classic Bergamo starters or antipasti are Casonsèi de la bergamasca and Scarpinocc de Par, prepared with fresh pasta; they are genuine delicacies for those who love fine dining.
Bergamo remains the home of polenta, classic or taragna (accompanied by the excellent, dairy cheeses of the local tradition), served with game or stew. Plenty of desserts will tempt even the non-sweettooths: Clusoni cookies, covered in chocolate; San Pellegrino cookies; the famous polenta e Osèi de la Bergamasca made with sponge cake and butter cream, chocolate and nuts; Treviglio Cake and Donizetti Cake.
The traditional olive oil of Sebino accompanies the Provincial dishes; the oil is produced in a vast area surrounding Lake Iseo. The wines are varied and prestigious, especially in the hilly area running from the River Adda to Lake Isea (the Valcalepio area). Valcalepio has seen the renaissance of wine production in the Province of Bergamo, above all at the beginning of the 1970s, when skillful development of the vines began and led to the red, white and Moscato Passito wines being awarded the prestigious D.O.C. certification.
Every district of Bergamo is also famous for its cheeses: branzi, from Val Brembana, the formai de mut and taleggio, taking its name from Val Taleggio where its production began c. 10th-11th Centuries. This is regarded as the best cheese to pair with polenta dishes and wines from Valcalepio.
Another typical cheese is the stracchino bronzone - one of the most characteristic products of Basso Sebino - a soft cheese the authenticity and quality of which have made it a candidate for the P.D.O. label. Bergamo is also famous for its honey production, regarded as the perfect accompaniment to cheese.