Emilia-Romagna is undeniably the region where Italy's best food is produced. The local specialties, famous throughout the world, include Parmesan cheese, Parma ham, Lasagne, Balsamic Vinegar and Tortellini stuffed with meat, vegetables and herbs. Lambrusco is the most renowned wine produced from the local vineyards. It is common in the autumn to pick wild Porcini mushrooms and Blueberries found in the foothills of the mountains and there are many outlets for locally grown natural produce. The area has a multitude of amazing restaurants and trattorias
Emilia Romagna is the home of handmade pasta such as tagliatelle, tortellini, cappelletti and lasagna.
Gnocco fritto, pieces of pasta rolled thin and fried in boiling lard to acquire their characteristic taste and eaten while still hot with local sausage and Erbazzone which is a spinach pastry.
Chestnuts - roasted or used to make a delicious sauce, truffles, wild boar and the wonderful drinks and pastry fillings made from the fruits found in the woods such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and bilberries.
You can combine eating with exercise by going mushroom picking in the mountains; the region is home to the porcini mushroom.
Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese) represents all that is excellent about food production in the Emilian Apennines. Produced in 52 diaries with milk taken from 860 farms that own a total of 30,000 selected cows. It can be eaten before, during or after your meal and it is present in hundreds of recipes.
The world famous traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena and Reggio Emilia delights the taste buds thanks to its unique production process, derived not from wine, but for the skins of the best grapes. It undergoes a slow and lengthy transformation from skins to vinegar which can in some cases mean more than 25 years from start to finish.
In Emilia the premier wine is Lambrusco, in frothy shades of purple to pink it is made from grapes grown mainly on the plain south of the Po. Romagna's wines come primarily from the native Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Albana grape, the variety that accounted for Italy's first white DOCG
There are many outlets for locally produced food but the best means is undoubtedly through the market. Every village has a market day and as the villages are reasonably close to each other giving you exceptional choice.
Example dishes of Emilia Romagana
Asparagi alla parmigiana: green asparagus served with melted butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Cappelletti romagnoli: the “hats” with a filling of cheese, pork, turkey breast, sage and rosemary are served with a pork ragout or in broth.
cappone ripieno large capon roast in the oven with a stuffing of veal, ham and Marsala.
Erbazzone: round tart baked or fried with spinach or chard, salt pork, onions, garlic, sometimes ricotta, typical of Reggio, called scarpazzone when baked in a crust.
Garganelli: pasta tubes with ragÃ¹ alla romagnola based on chicken livers, veal, prosciutto, tomatoes, herbs and bechamel
Gramigna: short, curly pasta tubes often served with sausage braised in wine.
Lasagne verdi: Bologna's spinach green pasta sheets layered with ragout and bechamel.
Passatelli: grated grana, breadcrumbs, eggs and bone marrow are worked into paste and forced through slots to form dumplings, cooked in beef broth as soup in Romagna.
Pasticcio di tortellini: in Bologna, the cooked pasta with ragu is baked in a pie crust with broth, grated cheese, breadcrumbs and, if available, white truffles.
Pisarei e fasule: tiny pasta rounds with reddish borlotti beans, tomato sauce and grated Parmigiano Reggiano, the pride of Piacenza.
Prosciutto con melone: roseate slices of Parma ham with fresh cantaloupe (or figs).
Riso con sugo di anatra selvatica: risotto of the lowlands around Ravenna and Ferrara with a sauce from wild duck stewed with white wine, tomato and herbs.
Tagliatelle alla duchessa: chicken livers browned in butter flavour noodles dressed with beaten egg yolks and grated Parmigiano Reggiano, as Parma's Marie Louise liked them.
Tortelli con le erbette: envelopes filled with ricotta and greens are served with drawn butter around Parma.
Tortellini in brodo: the pasta curls with an exquisite meat and cheese filling are traditionally served in capon broth with grated Parmigiano.