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The Best Foods of the Emilia-Romagna Region

Emilia-Romagna is Italy's top culinary capital. Here's everything you should try while visiting.

The northern region of Emilia-Romagna has always been known for some of the best food in Italy. In fact, the region’s capital, Bologna, is referred to as the country’s culinary capital. This region, and city, has certainly earned its reputation, and if you’re seeking a food-inspired trip, this is the region for you. 

Here are the best things to try from the Emilia-Romagna region.


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Let’s start with the best-known food from the region, tortellini. This delicious stuffed pasta is one of the best foods to come out of the area. It can be served in many different ways, but traditionally you eat tortellini in a simple broth. 

Ragu Bolognese

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Another one of the region’s most famous dishes is their famous meat sauce. This creation is often enjoyed with tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta. 


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Mortadella dates back to the 14th-century and this cured meat is so special to Italy that it has been given a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) rating from the EU. Mortadella is everything boloney wishes it could be. 


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Prosciutto is made using only pork from pigs raised in specific regions of the country. Salt is rubbed into the hind legs, and then the meat is stored in a cool environment to age for 10 to 12 months. 

Parmigiano Reggiano

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Known as the King of Cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano has earned its reputation. A standard wheel can weigh up to 90 pounds and gets its savory flavor from the aging process, which takes up to three years. 


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If you’ve never had authentic Italian lasagne, you have no idea what you’ve been missing. The noodles are traditionally spinach noodles and instead of ricotta, Bolognese chefs will use béchamel sauce, made with roux and milk.

Balsamic de Modena

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If you have any balsamic vinegar and it’s not from Modena or Reggio Emilia, it’s not authentic balsamic. The real deal will have the official DOP stamp of approval and with each product aging for a minimum of 12 years. 


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Made with flour and water, these flat round disks can be found all over the region. They can be enjoyed on their own or stuffed with prosciutto and mortadella. 


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In the Emilia-Romagna region, there are two types of gnocchi, pisarei e faśö and borgotaro malfatti. The former has been around since the middle ages and is made with flour and breadcrumbs. The later is from spinach, ricotta, and herbs with breadcrumbs and eggs used to combine everything together. 


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