Five things to eat in Bologna
From the peaks of the Apennines lashed by the wind down to the golden grain fields of the Bassa Emiliana, Emilia Romagna expresses a unique food culture, with valued and well-known products.
Therefore, it is very difficult to choose what to eat in Bologna, because of its food great variety and quality. Here we suggest 5 dishes and we invite you to try them during your visit.
- TORTELLINI Tortellini are a fundamental cornerstone of the city: a magic rite that starts with the food preparation until everybody is seated around the table . The ring-shaped pasta, strictly rolled out by hand from the "zdaura” (an almost legendary figure of the Bolognese tradition), is stuffed with a mix of parmesan cheese, mortadella, prosciutto, pork loin and nutmeg. The bolognese tradition is quite strict when it comes to food and sets very severe rules about the thickness of pasta sheets that have to be rolled out strictly by hand using a rolling pin and a cutting board handed down from generation to generation. The tradition says that to decide if the thickness of the pasta sheet is right, it must be held up and see if it is possible to distinguish the San Luca Sanctuary through its subtle weft.
- MORTADELLA Mortadella is a cold cut made of pork meat and lardello (diced lard). Some nearby salami factories were awarded the SlowFood recognition for the production of the praesidium Mortadella di Bologna. Its typical round shape with the pink colour and the intense spiced flavour make Mortadalla one of the most valued Emilian specialties in the world. SlowFood “praesidia” defend the small high quality producers of each region, when they produce according to traditions and respecting the territory and at the same time preserving the education to taste and the right to the good food pleasure. In Bologna there is a big “Mercato della Terra”: the Slow Food farmers’ market where you can find many other “Praesidia”, such as the one for the pork breed Mora Romagnola or the Parmigiano Reggiano from Vacche Rosse.
- FRIGGIONE The Friggione is a delicious dish of the farming tradition and is made almost completely by onions together with other vegetables, cooked for a long time over a low heat. It is surely one of the most “demanding” experiences of the Emilian cooking, however it deserves to be tried. The original recipe of the Friggione was filed in the Academy of Italian cuisine and at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna. According to this recipe, the main ingredients are at least 4 kg of onions from Medicina and one can of peeled tomatoes.
- SALSA VERDE Local traditions include among second dishes boiled meats in green sauce. The recipe of this delicious sauce is secretly handed down by grandmothers to their children. The ingredients are: parsley, capers, anchovies, boiled eggs, vinegar and stale bread. The fresh flavour together with the fat consistency of the meat makes impossible not to end the meal mopping up the sauce from the plate.
- RICE CAKE It’s now time to end with a bang, thanks to a traditional cake from Bologna: the rice cake. The geographical area, which is plain and humid, has enhanced the production of rice for centuries and probably the great quantity of this ingredient whetted the genius of some cook, who in circa 1600 invented this recipe. The cake is traditionally linked to the “Festa degli Addobbi” (Feast of the Decorations) for the Feast of Corpus Christi when the cake was sliced in rhombus shaped pieces and offered to the faithfuls. Nowadays people still enjoy its delicate, almond and candied fruit flavoured taste, perfect for a tasty snack.