Top Bologna Cafes: 15 Best Local Cafes in Bologna
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While many Italian cities might have only one nickname, Bologna has three, and one of those reminds us why this city is considered the food lovers paradise of Italy. "La Grassa" (the fat) offers tourists and locals endless option to t…Open the full description

While many Italian cities might have only one nickname, Bologna has three, and one of those reminds us why this city is considered the food lovers paradise of Italy. "La Grassa" (the fat) offers tourists and locals endless option to taste its delicacies.

Bologna amazing food is worldwide known, just think of Lasagne, Tortellini and Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. Surely the essence of traditional Bologna food is “Fresh Pasta” (made with eggs and flour and not dried like spaghetti, hence “fresh”). Fresh pasta can be either plain, like Tagliatelle, or stuffed, like Tortellini.

Also famous specialities are cured meat pork and the Cotoletta alla Bolognese, the local answer to the more famous “cotoletta alla Milanese”.

But let's proceed from the starters (Antipasti) of what you must try.
- Mortadella: the queen of Bologna and one of the city's symbol. Made of finely hashed or ground, heat-cured pork sausage. It incorporates at least 15% small cubes of pork fat (principally the hard fat from the neck). It is flavoured with black pepper.
- Spuma di Mortadella: it a delightful starter, made of mortadella, Parmigiano, ricotta cheese and fresh cream mixed all together, that is spread on hot toasts, Crescentine or Crescenta.
Another good thing about visiting Bologna is that you can try basically all regional food specialities without even changing a city. Here you can find Prosciutto di Parma, Culatello (from Zibello, near Parma), Aceto Balsamico di Modena and squacquerone cheese (from Romagna). Order a "Tagliere" and you can taste samples of all these delicacies in one plate to share.

Primi Piatti (First courses)
- Tortellini : the pasta that has become Bologna's trademark worldwide. Tortellini are small pieces of ring-shaped pasta that have been wrapped around a filling. The traditional receipt wants a mix of meat (pork loin, Parma ham, Mortadella) and Parmigiano Reggiano.

A similar pasta, tortelloni, are larger versions of tortellini. They are served with butter and sage and the filling is ricotta and spinach.

- Tagliatelle al ragù: Ragu is not eaten with spaghetti (never ask for “spaghetti alla bolognese” in Bologna! ), but with Tagliatelle, a tasty fresh Pasta made of flour and eggs. The official receipt wants a mixture of ground beef meat, ground pork belly, double concentrated tomato paste, carrot, celery, onion, half glass of red wine, black pepper, salt.

- Lasagne: another worldwide favourite, lasagne is a wide, flat pasta shape. Traditional lasagne are made by interleaving layers of green pasta (made with spinach) with layers of sauce, made with ragu, bechamel and Parmigiano.

- Gramigna alla salsiccia : Gramigna alla salsiccia is short curlt pasta topped with sausage ragu.

Secondi piatti (second courses: fish / meat dishes)

- Bollito misto: is a typicall Bologna dish, made of vegetables and various meats, such as chicken, beef, and sausage, simmered together and usually served with "salsa verde", made with capers, anchovies, half a clove of garlic and pickled baby onions.

- Cotoletta alla bolognese : we can define this dish as the "fat" version of the Cotoletta alla milanese. In fact, here they cover the veal cutlets with parla ham and parmigiano reggiano at the top.

- Friggione: It’s a savoury sauce, with white onions, olive oil and tomatoes. It’s an historical Bologna dish and the original recipe is kept in the local chamber of commerce, along with the tortellini and Tagliatelle ones.

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