The gastronomic tradition of Reggio Emilia has very ancient origins, joining influences from different ethnic groups and ages.
Principally, recipes come from farming tradition, that is to say including simple ingredients that any country housewife would have once had to hand: eggs, flour, onion, milk, pork and the products of the vegetable garden, our ancestors have proved that some astonishing flavors can be created by mixing humble ingredients with some rural wisdom.
Shortly, you will surely understand why Reggio Emilia is with full rights a respectable gastronomic center of the region described by Forbes as “Italy’s greatest gastronomic treasure”(D. Rosengarten, Forbes magazine contributor).
Right after Parmigiano Reggiano, the second highest honor would probably be assigned to pork meat, for its central role in Emilian rural tradition; Pork meat importance has not died considering the amount of different type of cured meat and other products made in the region and in Reggio’s territory: Prosciutto Crudo, Coppa, Salami, Cotechino and Ciccioli, this last one a wickedly good invention, probably as high-caloric as delicious.
The combination of farming staple ingredients have created first courses such as Cappelletti, Gnocchi, and the absolutely delicious Gnocco Fritto, which is to die for, combined with cured meat from the area.
Moreover, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – born in the Province – is omnipresent: grated inside Erbazzone’s stuffing, sprinkled on a plate of Tortelli, or chopped with the traditional small almond-shaped knife and served with some drops of precious Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia.
Up in the mountains of the Reggio Emilia Apennines recipes change, and the different condition of life have given birth to a unique gastronomic tradition: chestnut flour, Polenta, milk from local breeds of sheep, staple food that would turn into delicious dishes with ancient flavor.
To make a long story short: the variety and complexity of local flavors – born from simple and genuine ingredients – have surely given birth to an interesting and delicious culinary experience you most definitely have to try.