Few regions in Italy are more well-known for their food than Emilia-Romagna. This huge region is home to Bologna and Modena. It’s a good reason. Because of all the delicious cuisine it produces, a portion of the valley has been called the “Parma food Valley”. ).
We just ate our way through the region and are happy to share what we ate. Get ready to savor!
Parma ham (also known as prosciutto crudo di Parma). This is D.O.P.-protected food. It’s ham that has been salted for several days, and not cooked. It’s soft and melt-in-your mouth texture. It’s made in Parma.
Mortadella di Bologna. This is where we got the word “bologna”. But we promise, this supermarket lunchmeat is a bastardized form of Bologna’s spiced pork!
Parmigiano Reggiano. This is a D.O.P.-protected, Parma and Reggio Emilia-made cheese that has been copied many times in other countries. It might be called “parmesan.”
However, unless you have the D.O.P.-protected Parmigiano Reggiano in your hand, you aren’t really tasting it. It’s delicious!
Below is our video about the secrets to making Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese. ).
Modena balsamic vinegar. Modena is home to the best balsamic vinegar, D.O.P.-protected. It’s worth trying, especially when you add a bit to Parmigiano Reggiano. It can also be found on pastas: Emilia-Romagna excels at mixing sweet and savory. This pasta is filled with Parmigiano Reggiano and Parmigiano Pesto.
Calamari ripieni di calamaretti. The little squids can be chopped and seasoned. They are then mixed with rice and used to stuff big squids. Yum.
Asparagi ravennati. Ravenna’s famous asparagus. It’s best to look for it in risotto.
Anguilla alla ravennate. Eel sauteed with tomatoes and butter in butter, a Ravenna speciality.
Piselli alla pancetta. Pancetta is a salt-cured and spiced Italian bacon that’s made with peas. Sometimes, it can be mixed with pasta. Bologna is known for its specialty.
Lasagna. Some Bolognese believe that lasagna originated in Bologna. Bologna’s version is the best, regardless of origin.
Tortellini. The pasta that is so beloved around the world — small pouches filled in cheese or meats, although this is usually for tortelloni, their bigger cousin — was actually invented by Emilia-Romagna. There are many fascinating stories about how it began.
Our favorite: The pope’s little girl Lucrezia Borgia visited Castelfranco Emilia near Modena while on vacation. The innkeeper fell in love with Lucrezia and he could not help but peek through the keyhole to her bedroom. He saw her navel. He made a pasta to honor Lucrezia’s navel, in typical Italian fashion.
Capellettacci. It sounds strange, but it tastes great: Pasta with chocolate-flavored chestnuts.
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. This is not what you think of when you think “Bolognese sauce”. It’s a thick ragu made of onions, cartos and pork. There is also a small amount of tomato.
Amaretti or amarelle. Modena’s specialty is almond-flavored macaroons.
Pampepato di cioccolato. This Christmastime cake is made from cocoa, milk and honey, as well as spices, almonds, lemon peel, and covered in chocolate frosting with candy-studded sprinkles. It dates back to 15 century. A 11-pound version was given by Ferrara to General Eisenhower in the war.