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Central Italy's Foodie Delights

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August 1, 2014 / Italian / By
Rachael

Parma Ham by Commons Wikipedia Italy

 

 

Food from Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche is characterised by its simplicity and heartiness. You'll find sublime flavours, and a cuisine reliant on olive oil, tomatoes, hams, beans, and salamis. It is peasant style but superb. Bologna is the gastronomic capital of Italy and where more elaorate and richer foods are found. Here are some of the specialties to look out for when travelling in Central Italy.

Cured meats and hams

There are several varieties of cured meat from Central Italy but the most famous is Parma ham. In the area of Emilia Romagna where it is made the pigs are fattened using the whey from Parmesan cheese.This ham is wafer thin and delicious with melon.

Panzanella

Commonly found on restaurant menus, panzanella is a refreshing and tasty summer salad featuring onions, tomatoes, garlic, basil and oil soaked bread.

Crostini

Made from toast, the crostini are topped with olives, liver or tomato paste or anchovies. They are commonly served as a snack and are delicious. Bruschetta is bread that has been grilled and rubbed with garlic, with a drizzle of olive oil. It is also served as an appetiser or snack and is very popular.

Tortelloni

A dish of Tortelloni is a larger version of tortellini and the pasta is usually stuffed with cheese or meat. It is served with a rich sauce. Cannelloni is another form of stuffed pasta seen in this part of Italy and the large pasta tubes are usually filled with meat or cheese and spinach and covered with a tomato sauce. Another renowned pasta dish in Central Italy is the Spaghetti al Ragu which is from Bologna and consists of beef and tomato sauce.

Wild Mushrooms

In Central Italy wild mushrooms are a real delicacy and found in many dishes. From chanterelles to black truffles they find their way into a number of classic Italian dishes. Porcini are also served as a main course or with other food items and are really popular.

Desserts

Desserts in Central Italy are definitely worth looking out for on menus and it is as well that the region has good hiking trails and other outdoor activities to work off all the calories. Torta di Limone is a very rich dessert from the Emilia Romagna region and is made from lemons and fresh cream. It is simlpy delicious. Another famous Tuscan dessert is Torta di Riso which is a rice cake served with fruit. Panforte is another treat and is a very cake spiced with cloves and cinnamon. Visitors will also find the small biscuits called Cantucci which are ofen served with a sweet wine.

Central Italy has a rich culinary heritage and the markets, shops, and cafes are a wonderful way of seeing the finest food. From small villages to towns and rural areas the quality and taste here is superb. Food is a highlight of any visit to Central Italy with a mixture of flavours, delicacies and specialties. Take time to taste Central Italy's flavours.


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Country: Italy

Province/State: Toscana

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Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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