Lombardia is Italy’s industrial powerhouse and home to the separatist Northern League. Vinously speaking it is most well-known for traditional method sparkling wine, Franciacorta, which may explain why chardonnay and pinot noir are the most popular grapes of the region. Unusually, rice and polenta are much more common than pasta in Lombardia. The Risotto alla Milanese is heavily enriched with butter and Parmagiano Reggiano and then tinted and scented with saffron. Another beloved grain in Lombardia cooking is buckwheat. This flour is used to make pizzoccheri, noodles that are served with cooked vegetables and cheese.