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Cuisine and Specialties of the Emilia Romagna, Italy

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Emilia Romagna is considered one of the richest regions of Italy due to its gastronomic and wine-growing tradition. Located between the Alps and the Apennines, she owes much to the uniqueness of its region when it comes to describing its rich culinary heritage, also esteemed as one of the finest in Italy. Throughout the area, the Po River defines the limit between the rich land of the Pianura Padana Valley, the agricultural center of northern Italy, and the delicate pre-Apennine curves along the Tuscan frontier. The east of the area opens wide into the Adriatic Sea following the direction of the Po, with a low and consistent coastline and deep waters.

This region is undeniably the core of traditional Italian home cooking, with over 200 traditional listed items protected by law and twenty-six more with PGI-protected classification, she is commonly viewed as the birthplace of the finest culinary traditions found in Europe. For instance, Bologna is known for pasta dishes like tortellini, lasagna, gramigna and tagliatelle, and the Romagna sub-region is also known for its pasta dishes like garganelli, strozzapreti, sfoglia lorda and tortelli alla lastra.

In this blog, we hope to highlight a few of the famous products that make this region a culinary unicorn.


The origin of tortellini is widely disputed. But both Bologna and Modena claim to be its birthplace. The etymology of tortellini comes from the diminutive form of tortello, itself a diminutive of torta ("cake" or "pie" in Italian). These little “pies” can have various interpretations. Prosciutto, parmesan or ricotta are some common fillings.

You can explore all the variations of this traditional dish at our "Pasta Lab", where each piece has been created with passion by our own Italian-born chef Francesco Dili.


Native to Modena, a town and municipality in Emilia-Romagna, this vinegar is produced by slowly boiling the must from Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes of the highest quality, then ageing the remainder in wooden barrels.

Coming from the cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the cost per litre of balsamic vinegar can exceed $1,500 CAD. A variety of sauces, basic salads, or meat recipes, such as beef entrecote in balsamic vinegar (bistecche all'acetato balsamico), can be used for the sweet and sour harmony of vinegar.

Discover the best Italian balsamic vinegar from our wide selection available in store.


Parmigiano Reggiano, commonly known as Parmesan cheese, is one of the most renowned cheeses in Italy, with a manufacturing process unchanged for nine centuries. Now officially classified by the European Union as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Parmigiano Reggiano can only be lawfully developed in the regions of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of Mantua and Bologna.

Parmesan is commonly used in Italian cuisine. This cow cheese is often used grated or shaved to accompany pasta, risotto, and vegetables in countless recipes.

Tonight, welcome Italy to your plate and savour the best Parmigiano Reggiano. Visit our fine cheese counter and discover all the variations of this delicious cheese ready to be tasted!


Prosciutto is one of the favourites and best-known Italian foods in the world, having a history stretching back to pre-Roman times. In Emilia-Romagna, Parma is renowned for being one of the two cities that have cured prosciutto the longest. Because of this history, the most famous in Italy and beyond are prosciutto di Parma.

The best way to eat prosciutto is to pair it with mozzarella di bufala as an appetizer or out of the paper that the alimentari sliced it into. Between pieces of bread, a panino is another delicious way of enjoying prosciutto.

After a long day, treat yourself to an aperitif of Prosciutto di Parma and mozzarella di bufala paired with a dry red wine. Come visit our charcuterie counter and taste the best of Italian cuisine!

Let yourself be enchanted by this region and its traditional Italian flavours and concoct yourself a plate of Culatello and Anolini, or Prosciutto di Parma with melon as an aperitif with fresh foods found in our gourmet grocery store.

Italimenti, where discovering Italy is just a taste away!

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