A Taste of Parma Cuisine

By: Nicole Dickerson / Last updated: April 11, 2024

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


Culatello di Zibello ham

Guide to Emilia-Romagna Gastronomy and Cuisine: Read more

Regional Cuisine:

Bologna, Ferrara, Forlí-Cesena, Modena, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia, Rimini

Parma is home to some of the most delicious Italian food of Emilia-Romagna.

Anolini in Brodo

Anolini in brodo is another meat-filled pasta from Emilia-Romagna served in a meat-based broth. Parma and Piacenza both stake claim to the origins of this dish. Anolini is made by cutting the pasta sheets into small circles with the filling in the middle. Parmigiano Reggiano, ground meat, and breadcrumbs make up the filling for this fresh, handmade pasta.

Bollito Ripieno

This specialty from Parma is made by stuffing a hen with a mixture of butter, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cheese. After the hen is stuffed, it’s sewed closed and boiled until tender. Bollito ripieno is served with preserved vegetables called giardiniera.

Culatello di Zibello

First made in the 14th century, this ham is one of the most prized meat products of Parma and the greater Emilia-Romagna region. Culatello di Zibello is made by curing pork with white wine, garlic, and spices. The cured meat is then stuffed into a pig’s bladder or other natural casing and tied with twine—the meat ages for eleven months minimum, resulting in a lusciously tender, rich specialty.

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Prosciutto di Parma

Prosciutto di Parma’s unbeatable quality sets the premium standard for prosciutto production throughout Italy. Its PDO status requires Large White, Landrace, and Duroc breed of pigs. These pigs can only be raised within ten designated regions. Plus, they must be fed a mix of cereals, grains, and Parmigiano Reggiano whey. This diet and the minimum one-year aging requirement are thought to give Prosciutto di Parma its complex depth of flavor.

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Tortelli D’Erbetta

For a meat-free pasta option in Parma, look to tortelli d’erbetta. The pasta for the tortelli is handmade from flour, eggs, and salt; the filling consists of ricotta, eggs, nutmeg, Parmigiano Reggiano, and spinach or beet spinach. This traditional food of Emilia Romagna is eaten every year on June 23rd for the Feast of Saint Giovanni.

Trippa alla Parmigiana

Parma has its own take on trippa, or tripe, which is the edible lining of a cow’s stomach. Trippa alla Parmigiana originated in the traditions of cucina povera and is made with veal tripe, Parmigiano Reggiano, and butter. Some versions are enhanced with tomatoes, chile peppers, onions, basil, parsley, or rosemary.


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Nicole Dickerson

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