While the city of Ferrara sparkled in all its beauty under the Este domination, during the Renaissance were elaborated fantastic dishes which entered in today typical food. Let be tempted by the following three gourmet delicacies of this corner of Emilia Romagna.
Pasticcio di Maccheroni alla ferrarese, the quintessential taste reside here
The full name “pasticcio di maccheroni alla ferrarese” discloses its main characteristic: the fact that it comes from a culinary tradition specific to Ferrara like no other town in Emilia Romagna.
It’s considered first course, but it’s so abundant that could be served as second too. That’s why you should order it at the trattoria after a day-long tour of the wonderful ancient Estense city.
When it’s brought to your table you will see a simple yet crunchy dome commonly known with the name of pasticcio. As soon as you cut a slice of it, you will find out the mouthwatering inside kept warm: maccheroni, the typical Italian pasta appreciated worldwide along with spaghetti. The pasticcio is filled with maccheroni dressed with Béchamel, porcini mushrooms, truffles. As it was not enough, the chicken liver and heart complete the dish.
Get the party started for your palate!
Coppia ferrarese, the PGI bread
It seems that the famous “couple” was already produced in local bakeries around 1200, but its official name was forged in 1500. From since, it has become a strong culinary tradition and today the typical bread is still homemade with devotion by family run businesses and you may notice it as you enter one of the shops smelling of flour and yeast in the city center: a smiling Italian floury-some boy may welcome you into the world of bread whose technique passed on from generation to generation. You won’t find the same crunchy and soft dough rolled like a ribbon anywhere else since Coppia Ferrarese gained PGI (Protected Geographical Identification) recognition.
As common the ingredients may seem – water, yeast, flour – the method and the conditions of preparation are unique to this area. Match it with sauces or olive oil to taste its deep flavour.
Combining a tasting tour during the Emilia Romagna Wine and Food Festival may turn into a fantastic idea to discover other local specialities.
Salama da Sugo, a speciality dating back to the time of the Estense court
The art of making salami in a particular way belongs to the province of Ferrara. Only the capital city and a few villages surrounding it – Madonna Boschi, Portomaggiore, Poggio Recanatico – produce excellent Salama da Sugo following the tradition with a touch of innovation in the choice of some ingredients. The original recipe dating back to the XV century, is based on the use of sow seasoned with many spices such as salt, nutmeg and even red wine. The flavour is not the only thing which makes the Salama – also known as Salamina – different from any other Italian sausage: its shape calls to mind the typical pottery of the Renaissance. Traditionally served cut into slices at the Christmas table, today the Salama da Sugo can be found all year round in any Italian salumeria. Take the chance to taste all the varieties of this gourmet ferrarese food at the Salamina da Sugo al Cucchiaio Festival held each year in Madonna Boschi.
During your holidays in Ferrara don’t miss a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Delta Po and Delizie Estensi, but if you really want to feel like a local eating at the Este table, include a gastronomic tour.
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I am from NY and I used to live in Bologna, during my university. Ferrara is one of my favourite cities in Italy. The food is actually great, and the architecture is better preserved than many other Italian cites. it is truly renaissance city and cars are not allowed in the centre.