Food and drink
Surrounded by the fertile Po valley, characterized by thriving agricultural and livestock activities, Cremona is a center of excellence for meats, cheeses and confectionery products. Its rich and tasty cuisine boasts exclusive recipes characterized by local ingredients, such as the “Grande Bollito Cremonese” (boiled meat) or “marubini” (a fresh stuffed pasta boiled in broth).
The Nougat, celebrated annually in a festival that attracts thousands of visitors, is the most famous confectionery product in Cremona, and is made with honey, sugar, egg whites and toasted almonds or hazelnuts. Apart from classic nougat, that is hard and brittle, industrial factories and artisanal laboratories in the area have also developed soft nougat; both types of nougat are covered with dark chocolate.
Provolone cheese Valpadana PDO
Provolone PDO is made from a spun paste, and, together with Grana Padano, is the most popular cheese produced in Cremona and the surrounding area. Born as a variant of the provolone cheese that was originally from the Campania region, Provolone become part of the 19th C. traditions of the Po Valley. Provolone PDO is made from the milk of Holstein cows kept exclusively in the Po river Valley, and the cheese may be matured for anywhere from 10 days to more than a year. Provolone DOP can have a sweet, delicate flavor or a spicy, heavy-bodied flavour depending on the maturation time and the type of rennet used.
Cremona Salami PGI
Cremona Salami PGI is another traditional product, and it is made from the meat of the best swines from the Po Valley. The Cremona Salami is seasoned with salt, garlic and spices. The product is then aged for at least 5 weeks before it can be sold. The entire production process is defined and controlled by the "Consorzio di Tutela Salame Cremona", a Consortium that was specifically created to ensure the uniqueness and the preservation of the Cremona Salami.
Grana Padano cheese PDO
Grana Padano cheese, a product with a Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO), is produced from the raw milk of cows fed a controlled diet. The producers use a conventional copper boiler with a double base, and the cheese moulds are matured for several months. The majority of Grana Padano cheese is produced in the province of Cremona.
Cremonese “Vanilla” Cotechino (Cremona special "vanilla" pork sausage)
"Cotechino" is one of the oldest and most traditional sausages produced in Italy. It is a special sausage of pork, obtained from different cuts of meat seasoned with salt, sugar, Barbera wine, pepper and spices. The Cremonese "Vanilla" Cotechino is produced in Cremona and is so named because of its delicate and light taste. The "Cotechino" has a elongated shape and medium-fine consistency, it is seasoned for a short time, 15-20 days, and is delicious served with mashed potatoes, polenta (a typical corn porridge) and lentils.
Marubini cremonesi is a classical dish; its recipe, that dates back to the 16th C., was certified by the Italian Academy of Crusca . Marubini is a special kind of fresh pasta stuffed with a mixture of different meats and sausages . They are cooked in a meat broth that is usually prepared from three different types of meat (beef, chicken and veal).
Mostarda di Cremona
Mostarda di Cremona is a compote of candied fruit dipped in a syrup flavored with mustard. The art of preparing the “mostarda” was practiced in the Middle Ages by apothecaries; in Cremona greengrocers and pharmacists continued preparing it until the nineteenth century. In the 20th C. "mostarda" began to be produced both industrially and artisanally. "Mostarda" has a very strong taste that combines very well with meats, cold cuts and both young and mature cheeses.