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coppia ferrarese

Local specialties

Ferrara couple


Known as a couple or, in the local dialect ciupeta, the  Ferrara bread  it is one of the foods that best characterizes the gastronomic tradition of the city of Ferrara.

Its origins are lost between history and legend, but there is certainly some charm in this product with such a particular shape: two rolls of dough, which come together to form a couple. According to the most accredited version, this Ferrara bread was born as a tribute to a historical figure deeply rooted in the city's past: Lucrezia Borgia.

Bride of Duke Alfonso D'Este and woman of undisputed charm, as well as with splendid long hair, which made her beauty even more intense and powerful. In fact, tradition has it that the original shape of the Ferrara bread, described in 1694 by the historian Antonio Frizzi, is that of a twisted bread, but not yet elongated like two pairs of horns that intersect in the middle. One evening to bring it to the court table - it is said - was Cristoforo da Messisbugo, who offered it to the Duke on the occasion of the Carnival celebrations.

Ferrarese pie

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Its preparation is rather complex and the final result has a very particular flavor since it associates taste with taste.

It is in fact a sweet shortcrust pastry crust filled with macaroni mashed with a white sauce, béchamel, mushrooms, nutmeg and truffle. All cooked in the oven on a special tin-plated copper plate.



Their characteristic shape boasts of mythological descendants, because it is said that they represent the navel of Venus, the goddess of beauty; enclosed in a delicate pastry, the meat and parmesan cheese is the exquisite filling.

Caplit Christmas dish par excellence, are distinguished from the most common tortellini both for shape and substance.

In fact, tradition has it that every family, for the preparation of "batù", (the tasty meat filling), adheres to the ancient recipes handed down from generation to generation, which the cook jealously kept and improved with experience.

Salama da sugo

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The origins of its name are lost in the mists of time when it appears for the first time in a letter from Lorenzo de 'Medici to Duke Ercole I d'Este, in which the Magnificent thanks the prince of Ferrara for the salama da sugo that is came very welcome.

Salama da sugo has a strong flavor and, at the same time, one of the most elegant and persuasive of Italian butchery. It is a mixture of minced pork with red wine, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves and other ingredients that no artisan is willing to reveal.

It is aged for about a year and, in proportion to its size, cooked for six to eight hours in boiling water. As a side dish it only needs abundant mashed potatoes or pumpkin, which go well with the grainy pulp and its spicy sauce.

Numerous illustrious personalities have left enthusiastic opinions on this typical dish: from Mascagni to Ungaretti, from Bacchelli to D'Annunzio, from Greta Garbo to Mario Soldati.


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It is a sweet and energetic liqueur: it is drunk hot as an invigorating, natural or cold at any time of the day.

It is 1946 and a young trader from Ferrara, animated by a passion for novelties, decides with great courage to abandon the tranquility of the family business to undertake an entrepreneurial activity and founded the "Distillerie ARPA di Mauro Moccia Sas" society for the " production and marketing of liqueurs, syrups and similar ", creating the original recipe that has made itself known all over the world.
Since March 2011, this famous Ferrara liqueur has been included among the traditional agri-food products of the Emilia-Romagna region.



The Pampepato or Pampapato di Ferrara is a dessert that has a very particular past.

In the 17th century the nuns of the Corpus Domini Monastery in Ferrara, drawing inspiration from an ancient recipe of the great Renaissance chef Cristoforo da Messisbugo, created a dessert to be sent to the great personalities of the time. Cocoa, just arrived in Europe in the hands of Cortes, was a luxury good, destined for a few and is added as if it were a jewel, a precious powder.

In the shape of a zuccotto it is embellished with very fine almonds or hazelnuts, with tasty candied fruit, it is flavored with fragrant spices; the cap is finally covered with dark chocolate. Thus the rich dessert becomes the Pope's Pan. It is easy to understand who this marvel was dedicated to! An ancient, poetic and lost language transforms it into Pampapato and Pampepato.

For centuries the two names have coexisted and the substance does not change. It is the dessert of Christmas, of the holidays, it is the dessert that best represents the richness and refinement of Ferrara. It is the dessert that with its intense taste and its delicious scent recalls the tradition of a territory with many stories and flavors.

Salami: "The Ferrara aunt"

la zia ferrarese

The first hints of preparations similar to the current product can already be found in the recipe books of the master Cristoforo da Messisbugo, scalco at the court of the Dukes of Este. It is part of the traditional and characteristic cured meats of the Ferrara countryside.

Its mixture, entirely based on pork, is flavored with salt, pepper and fresh garlic, previously left to macerate in white wine. Precisely the addition of this ingredient, which has always been successfully grown in the Ferrara countryside, links the product's authorship to the Ferrara area in a clear and unmistakable way.

It is stuffed into a particular medium-thin and rounded casing called "Zia" which, once tied with a fine string, is left to mature in cool and humid cellars for five to six months.



The ingredients are the same as in the current recipe were it not for the addition of some spices, such as ginger and pepper, which today fell into disuse but were particularly widespread at the time. Some local historians maintain that the dialect word "caplaz" originates from the shape of the product vaguely similar to that of the straw hat of the farmers, called caplaz.

The pumpkin usually used is the violin, a variety that owes its name to the elongated shape similar to that of the musical instrument, for which, in the past, it also served as a water or wine tank and as a gunpowder container.

After cooking, steamed or baked, its pulp is mixed with Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg; the filling is now ready to be wrapped in a tortello form in the hand-made pastry.

English soup 

zuppa inglese

It was in fact in the 16th century that this delicious dessert was prepared for the first time at the court of the Dukes of Este, lords of Ferrara.

Tradition has it that the Zuppa Inglese was invented by court cooks when a diplomat from Ferrara, just returned from a mission in London, asked that he be prepared the "trifle", a typical English dessert of the time prepared with a sweet leavened donut and accompanied from a cream and some wine.

The court cooks, in preparing the dessert, not being able to find all the original ingredients, replaced the typically English ones with local preparations, such as sponge cake and custard, and enriched it with the Alchermes liqueur to give color to the dessert. while probably the introduction of chocolate among the ingredients took place at a later time.

Thus, from the reproduction of a typically English dessert with local ingredients, a dessert was born that over time has traditionally become Italian to the point of being included by Artusi in his book "Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well" (p .421) which is considered the founding text of modern Italian gastronomy.

Tenerina cake

torta cenerina

Known since 1900 as Torta Montenegrina or Torta Regina del Montenegro, in honor of Elena Petrovich of Montenegro, the bride of the then King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III, it was nicknamed by the people of Ferrara, tacolenta cake, due to its almost sticky internal consistency that melts in the mouth, delighting the palate.
Served with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, this splendid dessert has a crunchy exterior that reveals a heart of soft melted chocolate still semi-liquid inside.



Rustic and dry dessert, flavored with lemon served in every season in the city as in the countryside, to be dipped in local wines.

The name Brazadela derives from the fact that it was served tucked into the right arm, while the wine was poured with the left.

It is a very old recipe that dates back to 1250. In the past, this dessert was prepared on special occasions because it was substantial and there was no money to buy chocolate or other sweets.

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