The sea breeze blowing on the river brings a salty small to the air. The dishes of this area bring onto the table the taste of the wetlands. Just as the Delta is a hybrid environment, where the river meets the sea, the most typical fish of the area, the eel, leaves the sea where it is born and swims upstream in the river looking for fresh water. It is an endangered species, so you should eat it moderately, only on special occasions, either grilled or marinated.
Along the po river you can look for small restaurants on the sand banks, or traditional inns in the small villages: this is the best way to discover the local cuisine. Try the risotto made with the rice grown in the flatlands near the Delt, then enjoy deep-fried alborelle, small, silvery fishes that can also be marinated. And close your meal with a jiucy slice of watermelon, sold in small stands under the trees along the street.
The land offers many vegetables and fruits: sweet melons and pears grown in the flatland around Ferrara and exported everywhere in Europe. In spring fruit trees in bloom offer a unique view.
The first thing you have to do when you arrive in Ferrara is to look for a bakery and buy a coppia ferrarese , the typical and unique bread with a crunchy crust and a soft interior, shaped as a double horn.
Also here the importance of agriculture is paramount and the land offers many delicious tastes to accompany this unique bread, starting from cold cuts such as garlic flavoured salami, the garlic from Voghiera. There is a Fair dedicated to garlic organised every year in August at the Este residence of Belriguardo. Another excellent salami is the “zia” ferrarese, heir of the tradizional Renaissance cuisine.
You should try the salama da sugo, accompanied by a pumpkin puree, a vegetable that is very popular in the area and dots the bare fields in autumn. The one produced in Mantua is green and lumpy, that of Ferrara is smooth and orange. Both are used as a filling for the traditional pasta called cappellacci, one of the favourite dishes of the Dukes of Este. You should try it with melted butter.The traditions of the Renaissance and the sophisticated cuisine of the times of the Dukes can be faound also in many traditional pies and sweets, such as panpapato from Ferrara, made in the past for Popes and Cardinals at a time when cocoa was an absolute novelty in Europe.