The Po Delta: Charms and Flavours
Not only is the Po Delta an area of great environmental interest, but also a territory with a rich cultural and culinary heritage.
The Po Delta: territory
The Po Delta is the greatest wetland in Italy, with a tremendous historical and natural heritage. The town of Comacchio is located on the mouth of the Delta, with the features of the lagoon town, with canals across and around, which could only be reached by boat once. The Valli di Comacchio, “the fish basins of Comacchio”, are the habit of numerous bird species, including gulls and terns. Valle Bertuzzi is another beautiful wetland in the province of Ferrara, known for its flamingos, ducks and many more. In the province of Ravenna is Cervia
, an extensive salt-pan whose main characteristic is the mild aftertaste.
The Po Delta: farming excellence
The humidity rate, the location and the mineral composition allow the Delta territory to yield fruits and vegetables with distinctive organoleptic properties. Among the jewels in the crown are the Asparagus of Altedo IGP (PGI Protected Geographical Indication), the Garlic of Voghiera
, the Carrot of the Delta, the Radicchio (red chicory) of Bosco Mesola, the Pumpkin, the Pear and the Peach IGP, along with watermelons, apples, strawberries, cherries, apricots and melons. Rice farming is also prominent in the area, especially the Japonica, Carnaroli, Volano, Baldo and Arborio varieties. Processed meats include the salama al sugo, the salami of Ferrara and the Zia salami. The Po Delta area is renowned for the Bosco Eliceo wines, obtained from Fortana, Merlot, Sauvigno and Bianco grapes, which were awarded a Controlled Designation of Origin in 1980. Pasta and baked products have a prominent role in the local food scene: tagliatelle, lasagne, strozzapreti (lit. “priest-stranglers”, similar to cavatelli), passatelli (made with bread crumbs, Parmigiano and nutmeg), cappelletti
and cappellacci stuffed with pumpkin. Ferrara’s Coppia (or Ciopeta
) IGP and Piadina Romagnola
are also worth mentioning.
The Comacchio Eel
Fished in the Valli di Comacchio and deemed a Slow-Food Presidium, the Comacchio eel is suited for a wide array of cooking styles: fried, stewed, in light broth, “a becco d’asino” (a.k.a. Comacchio style, cut into pieces and fried with onions and a little olive oil), roasted or cooked with leaf cabbage. The marinated eel is prepared with the meat of the silver eel, according to an old recipe. The eels are behaded, filleted, skewered, grilled or oven-roasted. When cooked, they are left to cool off for about 24 hours and then preserved in a brine made of wine vinegar, sea salt, water and laurel.
Artecibo editorial board
Content edited by staff