Risotto Oro e Zafferano, made with precious saffron and a leaf of 24 karat gold.

In northern Italy, chef Gualtiero Marchesi serves risotto Oro e Zafferano (pictured), made with precious saffron and a leaf of 24-karat gold, at his Ristoranti de L’Albereta. But in my opinion, the very best risotto of the region is made by the chef Paolo Viviani from the Hotel San Rocco. He won the top prize in the 2006 European championship of risotto—the “Rice Olympics.” On WT’s Great Hikes and Chefs trip, we have tasted several of his creations, including paniscia novarese: Arborio rice, Borlotti beans, savoy cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, red Barbera wine, lard, sausage, salt, and pepper. It goes very well with some Franciacorta wine, such as the Bellavista Franciacorta or Barboglio de Gaioncelli Franciacorta. Buon appetito! –Text by Gianluca Canalicchio, WT Trip Leader, Great Hikes and Chefs of Northern Italy’s Gourmet Trail

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