Modena means excellence and tradition! And also the Italian province with the highest number of DOP and IGP seals of wine and food:
The symbol of the Modenese table is certainly the tortellino, the delicious “navel” of pastry filled with meat (pork, cured ham, sausage; sometimes Bologna sausage: each family holds its own secret recipe!). They must be eaten in beef-stock with a spoon. If bigger, they are called tortelloni, usually filled with by spinach and ricotta, served with butter and sage.
The second dishes of Modenese cookery are dominated by sausage. The cotechino, served with lentils and mashed potatoes, is an animal bowel, boiled and filled with different types of minced meat (spiced noble parts of the pork and pigskin). Similar to the cotechino, but with a stronger taste and the characteristic pigs feet, the traditional zampone is directly made with the anterior leg of the pig. Both have the IGP seal of quality.
Nobody in Modena can deny having eaten “gnocco e tigelle”. The gnocco fritto is an exceptional greediness: a dough made of water, flour and lard is fried – preferibly in the lard itself – so that it blows up and then is served with salami, lard, cheese and also jam. It is usually coupled with “crescentine”, so called “tigelle”, disks of a particular type of bread, baked according to the tradition between hot plates. These must be cut open and filled with whatever are fancies to eat them with, like the gnocco). These delicacies are often served with raw vegetables to degrease them.