Lake Como’s Fish: Do you know what a Misultin is?
Our beloved Lake Como is not only beautiful, but it also allows us to serve our guests fresh fish straight from its waters. From all the species, the one we consider the most typical is the Misultin, what a weird name isn’t it? Do you like Lake Como’s Fish?
Actually, ‘Misultin’ is the fish’s name in Como’s dialect, in proper Italian we could translate it to Missoltino (but to us inhabitants of Como, it really doesn’t sound right!).
The Misultin: a typical fish of Lake Como
The Misultin or Missoltini is actually a fish species called Agone and it has always represented a traditional dish of Lake Como’s cuisine. As it often happens with many dishes considered ‘poor’ because they were mostly prepared by farmers, fishermen, simple folks who lived of what they could grow and gather, nowadays the Misultin has become a real delicacy. It is said that the best Misultin is fished near the stony depths where they lay their eggs and that the ideal month is May (no longer possible nowadays due to fishery regulations), despite Agone’s fishery being traditionally regulated and taking place mostly during June and July. For this reason there are several fairs and festivals happening over the summer in the many villages sprouting around our Lario.
How does the Agone turn into a typical Lake Como’s Misultin?
Nowadays this Lake Como’s fish is a real gastronomic delicacy also because to become a real Misultin, an Agone has to go through a strictly regulated process: the fish is gutted, rubbed in salt and turned over every 12 hours over a period of 2 days. At the end of this process it’s rinsed, skewered on a twine and let out to dry in the sun. Once dry, the Misultin are stored together with bay leaves in boxes (once made out of wood, now tin) with a wooden lid and then these boxes are stacked on top of each other. This way the weight of the boxes and the wooden lids allow aeration and the spillage of excess oil.
Polenta and Misultin: a match made in heaven also praised in a song
Misultin’s strong and intense flavor requires a pairing with a food that is somehow able to soften its taste. What is better than polenta? Yes, polenta, another typical and traditional product, another ‘humble’ dish now raised to specialty also in the Lario’s area. Polenta and Misultin is a match made in heaven, so good that persuaded Davide Van De Sfroos, a folk singer native of Como who made dialect his language of choice, to dedicate a song to this dish.
Lake Como’s fish: Misultin (and much more) awaits you!
To properly complete this culinary journey just match this delicacy of Lake Como’s fish and polenta (warm if possible) with a glass of good red wine. This way you’ll fully experience the perfumes of Lario’s territory.
Lake Como’s fish and in particular the Misultin are a delicacy we proudly serve at our Restaurant ‘La Veranda’ in Moltrasio, a dish we couldn’t leave out and that we invite you to try if you still haven’t!
Patrizia, our chef, the staff of the Hotel Posta Moltrasio and I are waiting for you!