Welcome to Parma: now just eat!

Nowhere else in the world do people talk so much about what they eat, tell about it, discuss and argue about it, such as about the filling of anolini ...

People need to think about what they eat because in this land everything, even the most concrete things like food (and even pork ...) become philosophy. A philosophy, however, that does not remain an airy-fairy idea for a few intellectuals: here the most important things are what you eat. If in all places in the world brains meet and converse in drawing rooms or academies, here, on the other hand, it is done preferably "with our legs under a table," because Parmigiani are like that, people who just can't be without food. 

Parma and its gastronomy are one of Europe's jewels in the crown. Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham), Culatta Emilia*, Spalla Cruda (Raw Shoulder), Culatello*, Salame di Felino* and Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) are just some of the famous delicacies that have become symbols of Italian gastronomy around the world.

Typical dishes include the anolini in brodo: This small stuffed pasta, typical of Parma, is shaped with an anolini cutter into fluted rounds, or into half-moons, and cooked in broth even when served sauced or with butter and sage. They are stuffed with reduced stew juice, which according to an old recipe should be donkey (now rather beef), and old parmesan, breadcrumbs, eggs and nutmeg. 

Herbed tortellis, on the other hand, are stuffed with ricotta, parmesan and spinach. It's an auspicious dish for the evening of June 23, St. John's Day. You also have to try the Tortelli alla zucca (pumpkin), alla ricotta, Capelletti, tagliatelle, all egg pasta, all pasta ripiena (stuffed), lasagne, tagliolini, mio Dio! it would take a lifetime to savor it all. Remember you are in the city of Barilla!

Bomba di riso is a timbale ("deep dish") of rice with pigeon meat and chicken offal.

A very popular and all-Parmesan treat is a kind of doughnut, the torta fritta: small triangles of fried dough eaten hot and accompanied by a variety of cold meats.

Tortelli alle erbette

Cavàl pist

Parma's signature dishes include stew with polenta, mixed stews with tasty sauces: tripe or "buzèca" and cima ripiena (stuffed veal fillet) or "picàja". 

Then you have the meats- the "Carne". You're in a region where the cuisine is "earthy". So we know how to cook meat here. Involtini, slices of veal fillet wrapped in... prosciutto di Parma ;-). Another specialty: "Cavàl pist", raw horse tartare. Cut with a knife, of course, flavored with garlic, oil and lemon.

You will want to try the Tigelle: prepared with a mixture of flour, lard, yeast and water. Usually stuffed with salami.

And the Carciofa: the quintessence of Parma street food, a delicious cheese quiche that will leave you speechless.

Coppa di Parma - ©Corrado Riccomini

How can you not be thirsty after all that? Don't miss your chance to get in touch with the most famous of sparkling red wines. Produced in the hills around Parma, Lambrusco is much more than a wine. It's a liquid whose color is full of joy and happiness. Its scent is reminiscent of fresh red fruit.

And now dessert: rice or almond cakes, spongata - a cake stuffed with honey, nuts and candied fruit - and sugar violets are the most typical ones.

On All Saints' Day and the feast of Parma's patron saint, Saint Hilary, shortcrust pastry cookies in the shape of bones and shoes are baked, sprinkled with sugar and sugared pearls.


Violette candite

Anytime of the day, but best after a nice meal, ask for your favorite coffee!

Espresso or ristretto contains only a few highly concentrated centiliters at the bottom of a cup, often much less than what is served in France. The "stained" macchiato is served with a drop of milk. Lungo is slightly watered-down, while americano is a long black coffee. Alternatively, corretto is "corrected" with a dash of grappa. The classic cappuccino owes its name to the "little capuchin", a reference to the monks' brown hood (cappuccio). It's a large coffee topped with frothed milk and sprinkled with cocoa. The richer caffè con panna is topped with whipped cream.

The pleasure of good food, typical of Emilia-Romagna's "savoir vivre", can be found everywhere: from refined restaurants to country inns.

Fantasy and passion are the ingredients that, together with Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano, make each dish a true masterpiece.


Parma Città creativa della Gastronomia

*Culatta is the thickest part of the thigh, without the gib and the stalk, and unlike Culatello it is cured in the rind. It is among the Hills of Tizzano Val Parma that the fresh, pure air that caresses the Apennines allows the natural aging of this uniquely flavored product. With a sweet yet intense taste, its softness will win you over at the first taste. Try it on a slice of fragrant bread, perhaps with a curl of butter: it will melt in your mouth!

*Salame di Felino is a dry sausage made from the pure meat of Italian pigs, to which we add a little salt and black pepper, Malvasia wine and garlic. Its name comes from the small town where it is produced, Felino, located in the province of Parma, near the hills.

*The pigs from which the raw material is obtained must meet the same criteria required for Parma Crudo; the culatello specification allows ingredients other than salt in salting such as : whole pepper, pieces of garlic, dry white wine...

After salting, which has a maximum time of 6 days, the muscle mass is placed in cold storage at a temperature between 0 and 5 C°, for the time necessary for the salt to be absorbed. The meat is rested and then stuffed into the pig's bladder, through several turns of string that intersect each other, proceeding in a spiral from the base to the apex. This prevents air pockets from remaining, during curing. At this point, the culatello is drained and dried for 30 to 60 days; finally, it is aged in special rooms with sufficient air exchange, for a period of not less than 10 months.

Parmigiano reggiano

Anolini in brodo

Salame di Felino