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Hotel Ferrara Antica Corte - Typical food in Ferrara

Do you like cooking or simply good food? Well here you are… a fast guide of the main food specialties of Ferrara that you can taste in our beautiful city with suggestions that will save you from leaving from Ferrara without having tried at least one of its typical dishes. Particularly, we suggest:

The "coppia" also called "ciupéta", typical bread from Ferrara, with I.G.P. mark from the European Community. It was served for the first time in 1536 during a dinner offered by Master Giglio to the Duke of Ferrara. When you walk by a bakery, you just have to follow the amazing aroma of fresh bread that floats through the air, penetrating, and tasty. Riccardo Bacchelli once wrote: "It’s the best bread in the world".

The "cappelletti" (local variant of the more famous tortellini) in meat broth, with handmade dough and filled with meat. The history of the cappelletti dates back to 1811 and already back then they were a must for Christmas. A recipe imported from the Romagna area, revised and corrected to meet the needs of Ferrara. Small egg-based dough rings that wrap up the filling. The filling is skillfully made with meat, Parmesan cheese and aromas. Eaten in a wonderful meat broth they can meet even the most demanding tastes.
 The "pasticcio alla ferrarese" (Ferrara macaroni pie), whose receipt dates back to 1700 when it was prepared for the Pope. Some consider it a small pillow whose case is made of a sweet dough (short pastry), which usually contains macaroni inside (but sometimes even cappelletti), bechamel white sauce, meat sauce, white truffle or mushrooms. It is a savory dish that at the same time is sweet and salty. Today there is also a variation with puff pastry.
"Sguazabarbuz": Bologna, Modena and Ferrara all claim to be the inventors of this tagliatelle pasta.
The story tells that on May 29,1503 Lucrezia Borgia came to Ferrara to marry Alfonso I d'Este and a steward of the Palace, taking inspiration from her golden locks, created this special pasta and passed down the recipe from generation to generation. The pasta is cut into irregular strips, in fact they are called “maltagliati” (cut badly) and if it is cooked in a bean and pork fat broth they are called “sguazabarbuz”.
 The "passatelli in brodo", typical main dish in winter, is simple but very tasty. It is prepared with breadcrumbs, flour, eggs, cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
The "cappellacci con la zucca" (tortellini filled with squash), seem to have originated in the Centese and  Bondenese areas and then spread almost exclusively around the province of  Ferrara. According to the people in Ferrara, they invented this recipe and save a copy of this recipe for winter squash tortellini with butter in a book published in Ferrara in 1584 by Giambattista Rossetti.
The "salama da sugo" (pork sausage) is a dish from the Renaissance. It was first mentioned in the 15th century, as stated in a letter dated February 15, 1481 in which Lorenzo il Magnifico thanks duke Ercole I° d’Este for sending him a “salama” (sausage): "I thank you for the sausage you sent me which I highly appreciated". Two centuries later, in a poem dated  1722 called "Salamoide", the most beautiful lines are dedicated to the sausage which triumphantly returned in the famous "Modern dictionary” by Alfredo Panzini. Today it is part of Slow Food. It is traditionally served with potato puree.
 
Ferrara cold cuts also include: "Bondiola Poggese", "Zia Ferrarese" which is a typical salami with garlic, and "Coppa di Testa" (pork sausage).
 Eel: together with other fish and shellfish, it is typical of the cuisine of this area especially of Comacchio. It is cooked and served in different ways and is almost always accompanied by  the Bosco Eliceo wine and polenta (maize porridge), which has always been used instead of bread in this area: on skewers, in broth, grilled, chopped, diced, stewed and marinated.

The D.O.C. "delle sabbie" wines, Bosco white wine, Fortana red, Red Merlot and white Sauvignon. DOC Bosco Eliceo covers an area along the Adriatic between the Po and the mouth of the Rhine, along the Romea road and is the only wine area in Ferrara. The origin of these vineyards is very old, it dates back probably to the Spina civilization. Certainly the vineyards were developed around the 10th century by the Benedictines of the Mesola Abbey and the Fortana vineyard, also called golden grape, was certainly imported by the Golden Coast of Burgundy in 1528 by Renata di Valois, daughter of Louis the 12th, secretly Calvinist, and then Duchess of Ferrara after marrying Ercole II d’Este.

The fruits and vegetables include the famous “Pear of 'Emilia Romagna" with IGP mark, the “peach and Nectarine of Romagna" with IGP mark, the "Ferrara watermelon”, the "Rice of the Po Delta”, the “Garlic of Voghiera" and the “Carrot of the Ferrara Delta”.

As concerns sweets the most famous is the "pampapato", typical Christmas cake with chocolate, almonds and candied fruits. It was created and prepared by the nuns of the Corpus Domini nunnery around 1600. It was given at Christmas to the high prelates and also sent to the Vatican in Rome. The name in fact comes from this tradition "pampapato", "Pan del Papa", “Pope’s bread”. At the beginning of the 900’s the pastry cook Ghezzi took the ancient recipe, changed it a bit by adding a fine chocolate topping and called it “pampepato”.

And finally there are also “sweet filled ravioli”. They are filled with jam or fruit mustard,  the "mandurlìn dal pont" crispy biscuits with almonds (see photo on the left), the "torta ricciolinia or di tagliatelle" short pastry and almond paste covered with egg tagliolini pasta and the "torta tenerina" (see photo in the right) a simple cake with soft chocolate inside and covered with confectioner’s sugar.

 

 Enjoy!

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