When visiting Emilia Romagna you cannot resist the charm of the sea, the fun and most of all, the excellent food served in simple eateries or in the finest restaurants on the waterfront and in the historic art cities. The region has a very large territory and each area is characterized by typical cooking traditions.
I’m such a good eater, for this I have prepared a chart with some must-try dishes and products. I’m starving! 🙂
1. Piadina romagnola
In the past it was traditionally eaten by farming families instead of bread. Today it has become the symbol of the region and absolutely deserves the first place on this list! It is simply made with water, flour, quality lard and baking soda. It is cooked on a plate, usually made of terracotta and filled with herbs, cured meat and cheese…
2. Cured meat and cheese
There are so many different types of products, I cannot really make a complete list! As for cured meat, no doubt you have to try Parma ham, Mortadella di Bologna, Culatello di Zibello, Coppa Piacentina, Salame di Felino and Spalla di San Secondo. Known all over the world and present in much of the local recipes, Parmigiano Reggiano is a unique cheese. Then, there is also Grana Padano and squacquerone, a fresh and creamy cheese perfect with piadina.
3. Crescentine and gnocco fritto
Served as an appetizer or a main dish, they are great to taste hot freshly baked! Crescentine or tigelle are a typical bread of the Modena area and are cooked in terracotta discs or in the most modern hotplate. Gnocco fritto instead is traditionally fried in lard and has a swollen shape. Depending on the area, these two products are called with a different name. Be careful if you are in Bologna, because gnocco fritto and crescentine are often synonyms!
4. Tagliatelle alla bolognese
Homemade pasta is a real work of art in Emilia Romagna. That’s the case of tagliatelle, which are cut by hand and served with the classic Ragù Bolognese. It is prepared with sautéed vegetables like carrot, onion and celery, a mix of ground meat, red wine, milk and tomato sauce.
5. Tortellini soup
It’s the classic Sunday first course. It consists of fresh handmade pasta filled with pork meat, mortadella, ham and Parmigiano Reggiano. Tortellini are strictly cooked in meat soup, like chicken or capon and then served with the same soup or dry with other seasonings.
6. Bolognese cutlet
This is a very old recipe and also pretty fatty! The breaded veal cutlet is first fried in lard and then covered with a slice of ham and Parmigiano Reggiano. Finally it is baked in the oven with some meat soup.
7. Fried fish
Typical mixed fried fish of Romagna is served with zucchini, thinly sliced aubergines and other vegetables depending on the season. As for fish, there are usually squid and prawns, then other variants are added depending on the daily catches.
8. Grilled fish
It is one of the most popular dishes in the restaurants of the coast. Different types of fish are served (surmullets, turbots, sardines, cuttlefish ) with a light covering of breadcrumbs.
9. Tenerina Cake
It’s a tyical dessert of the city of Ferrara with melted chocolate and a few other ingredients. Outside it has a thin crust, while it remains soft and damp on the inside. Hard to stop after the first slice!
10. Barozzi Cake
This dessert was invented by the end of the 19th century by a baker of Vignola, a town in the province of Modena. It is made with dark chocolate, butter, unsalted peanuts, coffee, rum, sugar and eggs, but the exact doses of the recipe are still a secret! The original name is Black Cake (Torta Nera) but then in 1907, for the anniversary of the death of Jacopo Barozzi – a renowned character in Vignola – it was renamed Cake Barozzi.
A final warning is necessary! Spaghetti Bolognese DO NOT exist! Although everyone will understand what you are talking about, the classic ragù of Emilia Romagna is served with fresh handmade pasta. 🙂
To enjoy your stay in Emilia Romagna and experience local habits and traditions of this territory, I suggest you these three villas, equipped with every comfort.
Are you ready to leave?
Villa Oriente – Perticara (RN)
Casa delle Ginestre – Montescudo (RN)
Villa Serafia – San Clemente (RN)