It is almost impossible to keep track of all the different types of hams and salami aging hanging from the ceilings of big, humid and foggy rooms, such as the culatello, or in airy places, permeated by the the air coming form the Apennines, as it is the case with the most famous sort of ham, prosciutto di Parma.You should try it in its own city, Parma, as a starter, followed by cappelletti in brodo (tortellini in broth),or marubini ai tre brodi,a different version of tortellini typical of the city of Cremona.
Or you can stop in one of the many trattorias to try one of the best street foods: a tasty fried bread called torta fritta in Parma or gnocco fritto in Reggio Emilia, accompanied by local cold cuts.
If you climb the first hills at the foot of the Appenines in the summer you can smell alfalfa in the air. It comes from the forage grown to feed the dairy cows, whose milk is used to make the King of Cheese: parmigiano reggiano, as well as its competitor, grana padano. You should visit a local cheese factory to see how the curd is collected from the big copper heaters: it is unique experience. Try parmisan cheese with a few drops of balsamic vinegar: delicious!This land is home to the giant among vegetables: pumpkins. Its sweet pulp is the filling of tradional pasta called tortelli, both in Cremona and in Mantua. The two recipes are subtly different, both coming from the spicy Renaissance cuisine of the region, In the area between Brescello and Parma local bakeries sell a delicious and ancient pie called spungata. Buy some of the original fruit preserve of Cremona, mostarda and don't miss the delicious torrone:. In Mantua you can end your tasty journey with a slice of sbrisolona, a delicious crumble made of hazelnuts and corn flour.