Where to eat
At the table
The province of Rimini offers a variety of flavours that do not betray the characteristics of Italian regional cuisine, which is based on a wealth of products and foods. The territory influences flavours and in addition to this territoriality, a recognizable sense of cultural and historical belonging began to take shape as early as the Renaissance period.
Thus the lands of the Malatesta now offer traditional dishes prepared using excellent olive oils - the Rimini area has the highest production in the region of Emilia-Romagna and has obtained Colline di Romagna PDO recognition - accompanied by quality wines famous throughout Italy like Colli di Rimini DOC.
Still in Romagna, the areas once ruled by the Montefeltro offer natural products including intensely fragrant truffles and mushrooms. Also excellent are the products prepared by the skilled hands of man like Fossa cheese. The poet Tonino Guerra calls it Ambra di Talamello thanks to its colour - similar to amber - and because it too is protected by the earth. Its fame does not overshadow that of other local cheeses like pecorino matured in various ways, including wrapped in walnut leaves, or fresh cheeses like squacquerone, ricotta and raviggiolo.
Visitors should also try local cold cuts and salamis, produced by skilled artisans who rediscovered and thus saved from extinction the excellent Mora Romagnola breed, a pig typical of this area whose meat is ideal for consuming fresh or for making traditional cold cuts. The fruits of the land that dominate here are chestnuts and potatoes with a small but top-quality production.
Honey is also important with several varieties produced depending on the cultivation of local plants like clover, alfalfa and sainfoin. Typical of the highest hills is chestnut honey, a natural accompaniment to Fossa cheese, whilst an excellent single-flower honey is honeydew, produced from oak trees.
The hilly area is also important for locally-produced meats and for bread to which a festival is dedicated in Maiolo in June, when ancient ovens are reopened and used to cook traditional breads and typical spianata. The latter should not be confused with piadina, popular all over the province and served with traditional dishes.
Starting with first courses - either dry or in broth - fresh pasta abounds with cappelletti, tortelli, tagliatelle, tagliolini, strozzapreti, gnocchi and oven-baked lasagne. Meals continue with main courses ranging from farmyard animals to assorted grilled meats and traditional tripe.
Fish too is often served in a variety of hot and cold appetizers, first courses like risotto and tagliolini and a vast choice of main courses.
To end the meal there are traditional cakes like ciambella, bustrengo and migliaccio, served in the Montefeltro area, others linked to the seasons like pagnotta pasquale or Easter loaf, fave dei morti biscuits and chestnut castagnaccio and desserts like latteruolo, made famous by Artusi, Italian favourite zuppa inglese, to which alkermes is added here, and artisan ice creams. Ancient products bring meals to a perfect close: savour, which is similar to jam, and saba, almost a sweet digestif, should be enjoyed and savoured like a precious gift.