Triestine cooking is a natural blend of Italian, Slav and Austro-Hungarian influences, with additions from further afield to add to the simplicity of local peasant dishes. The Carso, despite its harsh and inhospitable appearance, maintains many delicious surprises. The esteemed wine production is based on local grape varieties such as the famous Terrano or the refined Glera which are grown on the so-called pastini, terraces dug into the hillsides where the Carso meets the Adriatic. Local olives also grow within sight of the sea and are used to make the extra-virgin DOP oil called Tergeste. Other excellent local food products are characteristic cheeses such as Tabor and Monte Re, different types of honey and the tasty cured ham, prosciutto, matured and flavoured with bay, garlic and rosemary.
Among typical local dishes, perhaps jota, a bean and cabbage soup, is the most interesting, and cooked ham with kren (horseradish sauce) is a Trieste must - as long as the ham is hot and sliced by hand!
Fritole co'anima (fi lled with anchovies), gnocchi de susini (a dessert filled with plumbs) chifeleti (made with fried potato purèe) and repa (turnips soaked in Terrano wine) are all local delicacies waiting to be tried.
Goulasch is a popular dish in local restaurants, as are sardoni in savor (sardines served with onion and vinegar, a Venetian speciality), baccalà (salted cod) and Istrian lamb - all testimony to Trieste's mixed culinary heritage. Looking towards the province of Trieste struccolo de pomi (apple strudel, of Austrian heritage) is a favourite. Other local desserts are putizza and presnitz (rolls of pastry filled with walnuts, almonds, raisins and pine-nuts), pinza (an Easter cake without a filling), Triestine fave made from white almond paste, various types of strukiji (strudel made with nuts, wrapped in cloth and boiled, not baked) and palacinke (thin, rolled pancakes filled with jam or chocolate).
Throughout Trieste there hangs the aroma of coffee, produced here and by historical tradition having a profound impact on the cultural habits of the city.