The fantastic Cuisine of Piacenza
Piacenza and its province are known for the production of high quality seasoned and salted pork cold cut products.
The main specialities are pancetta (rolled seasoned pork belly, salted and spiced), Coppa (seasoned pork neck, containing less fat than pancetta, matured at least for six months) and salame (chopped pork meat flavoured with spices and wine, and made into sausages).
It has to be said the Coppa Piacenza DOP is the Ruby in the crown of Parma and Piacenza’s famous cold cuts: rich, rounded and spicy it is a cut that according to many, one can never tire of … and we agree.
Bortellina (salted pancakes made with flour, salt, and water or milk) and chisulén (torta fritta in Standard Italian; made with flour, milk, and animal fats mixed together and then fried in hot strutto, or clarified pork fat) are the perfect coupling of pancetta, coppa, and salame, but they are also good with fat cheese, particularly Gorgonzola cheese and Robiola.
Pisarei e fasö is a mixture of a unique handmade bread based pasta and borlotti beans, basted in a tangy tomato, pancetta and onion sauce.
Among the culinary specialties of the Piacenza region (although also enjoyed in nearby Cremona) is mostarda di frutta, consisting of preserved fruits in a sugary syrup strongly flavored with mustard. Turtlìt (tortelli dolci in standard Italian), or fruit dumplings, are filled with mostarda di frutta, mashed chestnuts, and other ingredients, and are served at Easter. Turtlìt are also popular in the Ferrara area.
Turtéi, (Tortelli) a similarly named Piacentine specialty, is a kind of pasta filled with spinaches and ricotta cheese, or filled with calabash.
Piacentine staple foods include corn (generally cooked as polenta) and rice (usually cooked as risotto), both of which are very common across northern Italy. There are also locally produced cheeses, such as Grana Padano, though nearby Parma is more famous for its dairy products.
The hills surrounding Piacenza are known for their vineyards. The wine produced in this area is qualified with a D.o.c. (Denominazione di origine controllata) called “Colli piacentini” (“Hills of Piacenza”). Main wines are Gutturnio (red wine, both sparkling and still), Bonarda (a red wine, often sparkling, made from Croatina grapes), Ortrugo (a dry white wine), and Malvasia (a dry or sweet frizzante white wine).