Appetizers from Emilia Romagna

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“He who starts well is half the work” says a well-known proverb of Latin tradition which is fully reflected in Emilia-Romagna when one sits around a table.
The regional cuisine offers a rich variety of dishes to accompany aperitifs but also to precede the classic first and second courses.

At the top of the ranking, of course, traditional products - primarily cured meats and cheeses - protected by PDO and PGI products, which make Emilia-Romagna an exceptional hotbed, cannot be missing.

The sausages and cheeses are numerous and tasty: Culatello di Zibello, Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella Bologna, Coppa Piacentina, Salame di Felino, but also Pecorino from the Reggio Apennines, Raviggiolo and Squacquerone di Romagna, Robiola, Sogliano and Talamello pit cheese ...

Quick and simple to serve on the table, few elements and quickly you can compose a tasty and tasty mixed platter, accompanied by piadina, crescentine, fried gnocchi and borlenghi.

Beyond these exceptional products, however, there are also many recipes not to be overlooked that can make the initial phase of lunch and dinner unforgettable moments.

Here are some examples.

Farini potato cake

The potato cake is a typical dish of the peasant tradition of the Piacenza area, born from the need to use potatoes which, during the harvesting phase, had somehow been ruined.

Combining the potatoes with a fried lard, butter, onions and grated cheese, a tasty and savory filling is obtained which is then used to fill an oven-baked pastry, prepared with water, butter and flour.

Among the different existing versions, that of the municipality of Farini, in the upper Val Nure, has obtained the De.Co. recognition, or municipal denomination of origin.

Pistà ad gràss (Beaten lard)

Pistà ad gràss is a product of the poor and peasant cuisine. The preparation is simple and consists in beating the pork lard with a large kitchen knife until a homogeneous paste is obtained, to which parsley and garlic are added.
It can be served in many ways, both as a filling for crescentine and as an aperitif with warmed croutons (such as bruschetta).


If you ask an inhabitant of Reggio Emilia what chizze are, you will surely receive an enthusiastic answer. Derived from a traditional recipe and make us look like savory pancakes (prepared with fried dumpling dough), folded into a tortello with flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano.

The cooking takes place in abundant lard or boiling oil. Usually they are served hot, but they are also not bad at all cold. The traditional version is flanked by a lighter version, based on puff pastry, present in the bars and bakeries of the city.

Erbazzone of Reggio Emilia

Prepared with simple ingredients, Erbazzone is a typical product of the province of Reggio Emilia, whose recipe has remained unchanged over time.

Overall it is a savory pie stuffed with a very tasty filling (spinach, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs and plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano), on which some pieces of lard and pork lard are placed.


Born from the need to preserve vegetables for as long as possible, the Giardiniera is one of the typical preserves of the Emilian tradition, as prepared using seasonal vegetables.

In the Parma area, the Giardiniera very often accompanies appetizers or typical aperitifs, enriching with its sweet and sour flavor platters of cold cuts, fried cake but also pesto horse.

Mortadella Foam

The mortadella foam is a typical preparation of Emilia Romagna, in particular of the Bologna area.

Recognized and preserved thanks to the recipe deposited since 2004 at the Bologna Chamber of Commerce, it is a mousse with a delicate flavor made with mortadella, ricotta, parmesan and liquid cream.
It can be served as an appetizer, spread on croutons, canapés and much more ...

Sea snails

Piatto prelibato della cultura marinara, i lumachini sono un mollusco tipico dell’Alto Adriatico, che si ritrova anche lungo le coste marchigiane e venete. Vista la loro abbondanza, un tempo venivano consumati come piatto unico con gustosi sughi e crostini.

Oggi è una pietanza che trova posto nei menù dei ristoranti della costa, cucinato come antipasto in umido o servito come secondo piatto accompagnato da una polenta.

Last update 21/11/2021

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