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4 Best Cities to Explore Food of Emilia-Romagna

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Bologna in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Bologna in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

The four main culinary cities of Emilia-Romagna take inspiration from the iconic and famous flavors that capture the true essence of Italian cuisine. Yet these four cities have their own unique spin on traditional, local dishes that set them apart from one another and the rest of the country.

Emilia’s culinary customs focus heavily on animal fats and pork products. Romagna has stronger ties to Byzantine heritage influenced by the sea and classic land dishes.

Whether looking for fine cuisine or typical street food, Emilia-Romagna has the most quintessential tastes you can find during your Italy trip.

1. Bologna

Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy

Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and has a rich and meaty history. It is the birthplace of tortellini pasta and the popular salumi mortadella. With so much flavor and attention to genuine detail, Bologna specializes in the hearty meat sauce of Bolognese ragú. Bologna exemplifies the excellence of Italian cooking perfected over the centuries by combining recipes of chefs from noble kitchens and comfort foods from peasant dishes known for their robust seasonings and inexpensive ingredients.

Famous dishes of Bologna: | Tagliatelle Bolognese | Lasagna | Imperial soup | Maccheroni alla Bolognese with a white ragú | Mortadella | Squacquerone cheese

2. Parma

Piazza Duomo in Parma, Italy

Piazza Duomo in Parma, Italy

Parma is at the heart of Italy’s “Food Valley.” The cuisine is known for its creativity while maintaining a link to its culinary heritage for a striking balance between innovative techniques and traditional flavors that represent the community through local, sustainable ingredients recognizable around the world. Parma is best-known for producing Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the salumi Prosciutto di Parma. The history of elegant social life and vibrant entrepreneurial spirit has shaped local flavors with many dishes using butter and cheese for richer tastes and enticing aromas.

Famous dishes of Parma: Anolini pasta stuffed with broth | Sweet and sour filled tortellini | Pumpkin tortelli | Potato tortelli with a porcini mushroom sauce | Rice soup with egg, nutmeg, and Parmigiano-Reggiano | Brodetto alla marinara

3. Modena

Piazza Grande in Modena, Italy

Piazza Grande in Modena, Italy

Modena is home to quintessential Italian flavors, including slow food, fast cars, and classic opera. The cuisine respects tradition and preservation from egg-based pasta to sparkling Lambrusco, and the heritage of flavorsome balsamic vinegar. The quality of Modenese cuisine derives from the expansive landscape resulting in ingredients protected by the European Union. Balsamic Vinegar DOP is the most famous ingredient crafted in Modena province. The province stands out with spectacular culinary traditions and ingredients that produce mouthwatering garlic salami and specialty breads.

Famous dishes of Modena: Passatelli in broth | Scalloped macaroni | Tortellini in chicken broth | Fried dumplings | Modena pesto

4. Ravenna

Piazza del Popolo in Ravenna, Italy

Piazza del Popolo in Ravenna, Italy

Ravenna puts tradition first. The cuisine remains steeped in a heritage brimming with decadent recipes characterized by “peasant food” with regional cooking habits that have blended with French influence over the centuries that revolve around a knowledge of edible vegetables, plants, and herbs. Residents have also perfected techniques for producing dough for pastas, pastries, and breads, in addition to a refined knowledge of using the seafood caught on the Adriatic coast for a more dynamic representation of the local ingredients you can find, taste, and experience.

Famous dishes of Ravenna: | Stuffed Tortellini | Croquettes of fish or lobster | Frog soup | Cappelletti di Romagna | Stuffed piadina flatbread

How to Plan a Food Tour of Emilia-Romagna

Street scene in Parma, Italy

Street scene in Parma, Italy

The cities of Emilia-Romagna share a rich culinary tradition and yet have set themselves apart from one another with particular styles and unforgettable flavors. Each city represents its culinary heritage through the ingredients they use and the dishes they prepare with mouthwatering results. Discover inspiration for a tasty food tour with Zicasso’s Italy Travel Guide. If you are planning a trip, you can speak with an Italy travel expert for free by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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