The cotoletta is an iconic dish of Milanese cuisine together with the well known risotto. When we think about it we imagine it as a huge golden island, crunchy and large, very large indeed: sometimes it could be hard to put it in a normal plate!
There are so many imitations of the Milanese cutlet around the world. For example, the Americans from the South call “milanesa” every type of breaded meat. Also, the Viennese Schnitzel reminds it and this is the reason why the Austrians and the Italians carry on a century-old debate about who invented this recipe that dates back to around 1100 d. C.
However, if you are visiting Milan for the first time you will surely be welcome by several smells and scents. It is a multi-ethnic city, don’t forget it! So, where to find the traditional flavors and bite with absolute certainty, a real cotoletta alla Milanese? Here are some tips for curious travelers who want to discover the local traditions starting from the table.
Where to find the cotoletta in Milan
Finding the original cotoletta alla Milanese could be hard especially in those districts that became tourist destinations, like Brera and the Navigli canals. You will find dozens and dozens of restaurants and food shops that will offer you this dish but are we sure that they follow the original recipe?
If you go a little deeper across these ancient districts, you could discover some of the surviving Milanese inns. Ask to the locals if you need help to find them or take part in a food tour Milan. You will be guided by expert guides and connoisseurs of the city who will lead you to discover the original local flavors.
However, there is also a secret to understand if you are about to bite the real Milanese cutlet. Let’s find out!
One famous Italian food: the cotoletta
If in the world there is still someone who does not know what it is, let’s have a little summary. The cotoletta alla Milanese, also known as chop or breaded cutlet, is a slice of veal meat breaded in egg and stale breadcrumbs and then fried in clarified butter.
The main feature of the true Milanese cutlet, in fact, is not the thickness of the slice but the frying technique. It must be fried in the butter and not in the boiling oil. Furthermore, pork or chicken meat are not allowed. The original recipes is made with veal meat fed with milk. The golden brown of the breading, the texture of the meat and its taste will depend on these details.
However, you have to know that there are several schools of thought about the piece of meat. Someone admits only the boneless meat, others use instead the meat with bone and they say this is according to the original recipe.
So, when you will be in front of you first cutlet, pay attention to these features, ask the restaurant owner about it but don’t be fooled by the differences: traditions have been revisited over and over again in the centuries.