Local recipes

Local recipes

Modena on your table.

Excellence, tradition, and flavor: In Modena, three words that describe the ideal menu.

Your voyage among local food and wine traditions begins with a delicious antipasto of cured meats, with Prosciutto di Modena as the star attraction. The place of honor among Modena’s first courses is reserved for tortellini, pasta squares folded around a filling of pork, prosciutto, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.Meat dishes include cotechino and zampone, a mixture of ground pork flavored with herbs and spices and stuffed into the skin of a trotter.

You’re also sure to enjoy Crescentine (known locally as “tigelle”) and Gnocco Fritto, either as side dishes or main courses, two delightful specialties typically served with cheese and charcuterie or various sauces.

No table in Modena is complete without traditional balsamic vinegar, a silky elixir that’s unique among the cuisines of the world. “Balsamico” is made from the must of cooked grapes that are allowed to age until acid develops during natural fermentation and is then gradually concentrated in a lengthy aging process.

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese serves as a faithful companion, typically enjoyed in thin slices with a drop of two of traditional balsamic vinegar.

Such a sumptuous meal pairs naturally with a fine glass of Lambrusco, a sparkling red that is the best-selling wine in the world, the perfect accompaniment to local cuisine.

Finish off with a heaping serving of Vignola Cherries or Amarene Brusche preserves, made from the dark-colored sour cherries that grow in and around Modena. The quality of both these local delicacies is guaranteed by the “protected geographical origin” symbol. You’ll also find a wide variety of specialty sweets and baked goods such as the Bensone (a traditional pastry made with flour, milk, eggs, butter, and sugar and sometimes filled with jam), Zuppa Inglese (a trifle made with sponge cake, a red herbal liqueur, and custard), and amaretti cookies.

Here’s one piece of advice: Don’t leave the table without ordering a glass of Nocino, a delightful digestif made from walnuts.