As is well known, the Emilia Romagna Region is a paradise of taste. With its wealth of recognized and certified foods, be it on this side or on the other side of the Sillaro (the River that separates Emilia and Romagna) is really of little importance: your palate will most certainly be satisfied.
The town of Imola marks the beginning of the Romagna part of the region, land of hospitality and ingenuity, where the local cuisine reflects the open and friendly character of its people and the concept of sitting down at the table with friends, drinking and eating well is an absolute necessity.
The kitchen is the domain of “sfoglina” pasta (heir of “azdora”, the stalwart housewife, who presides over the household government and the true symbol of hard work) who, with her experience and skill, prepares quintessential meals in Romagna: such as the traditional minestrina or soup. Even today, according to tradition, the dough is made by hand and rolled out with a rolling pin in order to achieve a uniform thickness and a good degree of “roughness”, which is fundamental to its ability to better accommodate the condiments. As a result, there are many pasta formats with fanciful names: tortellini, cappelletti, ravioli, tagliatelle, strozzapreti, strichetti, quadrettini (little squares), maltagliati, garganelli, just to name the most famous ones.
However, the minestrina or soup is not the only star of the Imolese table; in fact, every meal worthy of respect requires a good accompaniment of wine. Thanks to its favourable position between the Apennines and the plains, a glorious viticultural tradition has developed here, so much so that the ‘Colli d’Imola’ production can truly boast the title of D.O.C. (Controlled Designation of Origin)
A demonstration of excellence and the viticultural heritage value of the area, in Dozza (a small town located on the hills of Imola) the Emilia Romagna Regional Enoteca was born here. Right here, in the cellars of the Rocca (fortress), they are gathered and made available for purchase, circa 1,000 labels from over 200 producers, selected by a technical committee of sommeliers and industry professionals.
In this gastronomic excursus (narrative digression), one cannot help to mention the “piadina” or flatbread. Famous just about everywhere, it can be enjoyed during meals as a bread substitute, or as a main dish when folded in half and stuffed with meats, cheeses, vegetables and sauces.
One of the most typical fillings and appreciated is the one known as “Squacquerone di Romagna” DOP (fresh soft cheese) and Arugula salad. The piadina or flatbread is well-known throughout the territory, thanks to the many kiosks, where at any time during the day; you can taste this speciality and all its combinations.
The importance that food plays in this area of Italy is known to most and the town of Imola clearly falls into this context. In fact, every year, a festival to promote the culinary culture of this area is organized in the city, a kermesse festival dedicated to a food product to be explored in all of its aspects: the Baccanale or Bacchanal.
This intense love for the table is also accompanied by the handing down of folklore and rural traditions: there are countless festivals and popular festivals that, since ancient times, follow one another, harkening back to a forgotten and by-gone era of traditional dishes.