- Food & Wine
What to eat in Cremona and the surrounding area
A menu of traditional Cremonese dishes: from marubini and tortelli to Gran Bollito, from Cremona IGP salami to mostarda and typical cheeses.
There's still a way to enjoy typical local dishes, while staying safely at home: savour traditional dishes, genuine culinary delights, telling tales bursting with flavour. Let's take a closer look at some typical food of the Cremona area. Is your mouth watering yet?
A journey immersed in flavour, amidst the tastes of Cremona: first courses
Let's start at the beginning, namely the first course: Cremonese marubini. These are filled pasta shapes (the size of a chestnut) made with durum wheat flour, common wheat and egg, stuffed with beef marinated with vegetables or red wine, with the addition of roasted veal and flavoured with sage or rosemary. As an alternative to veal, pork sprinkled with white wine or "pistum" (a mixture of Cremona salami) are also used.
But as they say, different place different pasta, and the filling can vary from one town to another. Marubini ai tre brodi is a must to try, which involves combining chicken (capon or chicken), beef, pork and vegetables in cold water.
Another first course you absolutely must sample is tortelli cremaschi, a subtle blend of flavours with a sweet and spicy filling and a savoury pasta and dressing. The secret to preparing them is to balance the quantities of filling and pasta, and to avoid using egg pasta, because it would be unable to withstand the cooking time (20/40 min.). The result? A delicious, indulgent dish you won't want to miss. There are several different varieties of tortelli, using different ingredients. Want to try them all?
Whats' cooking? His Majesty the Gran Bollito
A simple but tasty dish, a mixture of the cheapest cuts of meat, cooked for hours in boiling water: this is the Gran Bollito. A main course that is a firm favourite on tables throughout Cremona. The ingredients have to cook for a good three hours in the pot. It's a "Sunday dinner" and so is best prepared (and enjoyed) slowly, perhaps in one of the traditional restaurants of the area.
Unmissable treats: Cremona IGP salami and mostarda
Two things you simply have to try in and around Cremona are the local salami and mostarda.
Even historians agree: the Po Valley has probably always been the ideal location for pig farming, ever since Roman times. Hence there were already some "rudimentary" types of salami on tables in Lombardy in those days. One thing's for sure: the taste of Cremona IGP salami is unmistakable, aromatic and spicy, with a strong taste that makes it perfect with a wide range of pairings, from the classic hunk of bread to fruit.
Another must-try? Mostarda, of course! This is a condiment made of fruit, sugar and mustard extract, it is usually very spicy and is served alongside boiled and grilled meats, as well as between courses at large banquets and special occasions.
Typical Cremona cheese
Cheese is the star of most traditional lunch menus in Cremona (as well as throughout the rest of the Lombardy region). The only problem in Cremona is which to choose. You can't leave without taking some time to taste Quartirolo Lombardo DOP, a soft cow's milk cheese, or treat yourself to a little Taleggio DOP, best served with jams and various types of honey or polenta.
Lastly, don't forget the long aged Provolone Valpadana DOP and Grana Padano DOP, known and loved all over the world.
A beautiful ending: Cremona desserts
To end your meal on a sweet note, opt for a slice of dolce Cremona (made with sugar, eggs, butter, flour, starch and almonds), a piece of nougat or the famous Sbrisolona, whose recipe dates back to before the 17th century. Sweet treats full of history.