The cuisine characteristic of Emilia Romagna is said to be the utmost expression of Italian cuisine. It is rich in flavors and tastes, and one might always wonder how the basic ingredients of most traditional specialties can yield such an array of gastronomic temptations. Indeed, pasta, meats, fish, vegetables and cheese seem to be the ever-present ingredients of local specialties.
No visitor of Riccione should decline the pleasure of finding out what this resort offers in terms of cuisine since cuisine is, perhaps, more than all other cultural expressions, the place where the soul of a community can be searched out most easily. This is why there are plenty of hotels in Riccione which, among other services they put forward, delight their guests with cuisine-related experiences, such as gastronomic tours and theme dinners. This habit encourages all visitors to believe locals of Riccione do respect their cuisine and, in fact, even take pride in their culinary products, which is precisely why they capitalize on it from a tourist point of view.
Pasta dishes are held in great respect in Emilia Romagna, Riccione included. Tourists can enjoy a large variety of pasta in Riccione: garganelli, passatelli, cappelletti, cappellacci, and pasticcio. The heartiness of pasta dishes in Riccione comes both from the ingredients in preparing pasta as such (ranging from mere wheat flour to eggs, breadcrumbs, nutmeg and sundry types of cheese) and from the fillings or the sauces which accompany pasta proper. Homemade pasta features a particular vigor all tourists should experience.
Red and white sauces provide extra color and flavor to a pasta meal, tomatoes and cream being the chief ingredients for such culinary treats. Pasta is often served with meat specialties, though various combinations of vegetables are common too (beans, for instance).
Pork, lamb, chicken, rabbit and goose are common presences on the locals’ tables. Emilia Romagna has proven its passion for consistent tastes and textures, a passion which has resulted in fabulously mouthwatering dishes no dainty feeder could possibly refuse. Porchetta (deboned suckling pig abundantly seasoned and cooked such as to let all flavors attain their peak effect), coppa (a type of sausage of very particular features: surprisingly red color and amazing softness, despite of its rough salty taste and dried quality), pig trotter (a sort of sausage made of a pig’s front leg richly filled with minced meat) are just a few of the all-inviting prospects which can royally open a glorious meal.
Riccione is located on the Adriatic coast of Emilia Romagna, which is why all visitors are entitled to expect an impressive array of fish dishes to be served here. Yet, Riccione does not necessarily excel in fish dishes, though fish and seafood have always been a constant presence on locals’ tables. On the other hand, tourists can definitely satisfy their curiosity, since there are plenty of fish eateries in Riccione. The freshness of the product is guaranteed.
Lobster, mussels, sea bass, turbot, clams, octopus, mackerel, sardines and shrimps are the most commonly used for preparing fish and seafood specialties. These gifts of the sea often come in the shape of soups, sautés, grilled or marinated delights. They can also accompany pasta dishes.
Amongst others, Emilia Romagna has always observed it cheese production tradition. A special emphasis is laid on ship milk cheeses, though cow milk cheese is also appreciated. Either fresh, creamy and sweet or aged and spicy (or any combination in between, for that matter), the cheeses of Emilia Romagna will always be a pride of local cuisine.
Casatella, pecorino, ricotta, formaggio di fossa and squacquerone are some of the most notable cheeses to be sampled by tourists with a healthy gastronomic curiosity.
Often referred to as piada, piadina is the very gastronomic symbol of Emilia Romagna. What is surprising about piadina is it consists of amazingly elementary ingredients (wheat flour, salt, water, though the dough can be complemented with baking soda and lard, depending on preferences) and yet it is a highly adaptable specialty which can be eaten as such or in sundry combinations (accompanying desserts, soups, stews or cheeses).
Piadina is in a way a proof of the peasant origins of the regional cuisine, since it was conceived as substitute bread. However, at present Riccione take pride in serving piadina as a mark of traditional cuisine.
Beekeeping in Emilia Romagna has always been enabled by the wholesome climate and flora of the regions. This is why there are plenty of types of honey produced in Emilia Romagna, each of them flavored as if to bring on both locals’ table and palate the ultimate sap nature has ever been able to produce.
However, in order to sweeten even more a stay or a meal in Riccione, tourists are advised to try some of the crispy desserts typical of Emilia Romagna. Pagnota and ciambella are some of the simplest examples, though they do not fall short of filling the mouth and the soul at the same time with complete gastronomic satisfaction. A further crispy invitation refers to bustrengo, a more complicated cake-like dessert into which the qualities and the flavors of lemons, oranges, honey, eggs, milk and raisins are poured.
There are people who are skilled and advised enough to turn the mere act of feeding oneself into an art and a science all the same. Wines can not lack from this approach. This is why Emilia Romagna comes with a large range of quality wines. Thus, once in Riccione, tourists can sample, for instance, Albana, Pagadebit or Trebbiano (each of these being white wines with more or less rich bouquets), as well as Sangiovese and Cagnina (as far as red wines go). Most of these are historical wines, which is worth noting.