We are delighted to offer you featured specialties from the north-central Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. This regional cuisine is a blend of Byzantine traditions and Lombard customs.
This north-central region lies in the fertile Po River Valley and is often referred to as the breadbasket of Italy. It is considered by many to be the gastronomical and culinary heart of Italy. The region of Emilia-Romagna is dominated, geographically, by the great Po River. The river is largely responsible for the rich microclimate and flourishing flora. Over the centuries, the vast marshes have been transformed into some of the best farmland in the region, and the delta is the ideal habitat for land animals and fish. Wheat is a main crop and thus responsible for the many and diverse types of pasta, from tortellini and ravioli to the widely popular gnoccho fritto. “The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy is home to several of the world’s most renowned gastronomic cities — the capital, Bologna, has given its name to the famed Bolognese sauce; from Parma comes prosciutto, the best-known pork product of Italy; Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese [parmesan] has been made in Parma and Reggio-Emilia for over 700 years; and Modena has been producing unrivaled balsamic vinegar for centuries. This culinary heartland is also well known for its delicate homemade pastas.” — from The Cooking of Emilia Romagna: Culinary Treasures from Northern Italy by Giovanna Bellia La Marca.