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Bologna Guide Italy

Eating and Drinking


Eating and Drinking

Few cities in the world boast a heritage of gourmet tradition like Bologna. However, one of the three epithets of the city if "la grassa" (the fat one), well-deserved considering the local passion for good food. So it is not surprising that many of the most famous Italian dishes in the world come from Bologna.

Pasta dishes include famous names like tortellini. There are many varieties, but the ones in Bologna are stuffed with meat, prosciutto, mortadella, parmesan and are served in broth. Then there are tortelloni stuffed with ricotta. This is also the land of egg pasta, including the stars tagliatelle and lasagna. Taglatelle, according to tradition are served with meat sauce, and the pasta for real lasagna is green, since it is made with spinach.

Meat is not missing in Bologna, and pork is the undisputed king. A traditional dish is cotoletta alla bolognese, a cutlet covered with prosciutto and cheese, bollito misto (assorted boiled meats) and various roasts are also popular, for example stracotto di manzo (beef stew). Cold cuts are another prerogative of Emilia: the glory of Bologna is mortadella. Nearby cities provide prosciutto from Parma, salami from Felino, coppa from Piacenza, ham and zampone (stuffed pig's trotter), which is served cooked.

Among the cheeses, it is impossible not to mention Parmigiano Reggiano, one of the most famous cheeses in the world, but we also suggest trying squaccherone, a very soft cheese. Bologna's residents like to eat cold cuts and cheeses with specials bread made with lard: tigelle, crescentine and piadine.

Dessert: to finish a meal with dignity you can try the typical pan speziale, a Christmas cake made with dried fruit and torta di riso (rice cake).

Wine: the most famous product of these lands is Lambrusco, a sparkling red wine grown between Bologna and Reggio Emilia. It is not a particularly expensive wine, but with its pleasant light taste and fruity bouquet it has conquered major success throughout the world. The hilly area behind Bologna has a much different vocation, this is the Colli Bolognesi DOC area. Excellent wines are produced here including the whites Albana, Pignoletto, Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco and Riesling or reds Barbera, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Photos courtesy of: APT Servizi, Regione Emilia Romagna, Comune di Bologna.

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