If you have been to Mantua at least once, I am sure that you have paid particular attention to the choice of the restaurant and the typical products of the area. After all, a journey begins with its flavors, as happens for a day trip. In this article you will find the typical Mantuan dishes that I recommend you try!
Typical Mantuan dishes not to be missed
You can only start with the appetizer, don’t you think? Mantuan salami is a typical product to taste, with a red texture and whose flavor is enhanced by garlic, salt and pepper. Aging for three or six months which gives it an intense and pleasant flavor. Another idea is a cheese platter with an accompaniment of Campanine apple mustard.
The apples that are used for the production of the mustard are small, with a firm consistency and a sour note in the flavor.
The traditional first courses of the city of Mantua
Mantuan cuisine is also known for its first courses, from agnolini in broth, to passatelli and delicious pumpkin tortelli. The first in the local dialect are called agnulin. A typical egg pasta prepared on Christmas day strictly in chicken broth and sprinkled with parmesan.
A traditional Mantuan dish, ideal in winter for a reference to simplicity with an unmistakable taste. The filling of the agnolini is in fact rich in flavors due to the presence of beef stew with white wine, bacon, pork sausage as well as the addition of spices and eggs.
There are versions not in broth, a classic example are the agnolini seasoned with butter and sage. The choice is up to you, the advice is to accompany it with excellent Lambrusco, typical of the area.
Staying on the subject of stuffed pasta, how can we forget the Mantua pumpkin tortelli seasoned with butter and sage. The secret ingredient is the Mantuan mustard whose flavor enhances the typical sweet of the pumpkin used for a really tasty dish.
For rice lovers, the choice can only fall on the rice to the pilot, a traditional dish whose sauce is based on pork pisto cooked in butter and a spread of parmesan cheese.
The name of this dish originates from the person in charge of the pile, a mortar for processing rice. If you want a single dish, I suggest you order the risotto with puntèl: it is nothing more than the pilot-style rice with a rib, sausage or grilled pork chop on top.
Typical Mantuan dishes not to be missed: donkey stew
We are halfway through the meal and it’s time to think about the main courses. How about trying donkey stew? A meat marinated for up to 24 hours in Lambrusco with flavorings. A strong flavor thanks to the long cooking of the meat before being served. The ideal side dish is certainly polenta.
The typical sweets of Mantua
We are at the end of our journey into typical Mantuan dishes but, to conclude, we certainly cannot neglect the dessert. The Mantuan cake has a soft, intense yellow dough and inside there are almonds. Another typical dessert of Mantua is certainly the sbrisolona, I’m sure you already know it.
The sbrisolona was born in Mantua and its name derives from the typical crumbs of this dessert, brìsa in Mantua. A poor recipe that is said to have been born in the Gonzaga years.
Almonds have an irregular shape not chopped but coarsely cut. Also particular is the cut that does not have to be with a knife but must be done with the hands, after all it is not a classic cake. It is usually enjoyed with grappa or fortified wine, such as Malvasia, Passito or Vin Santo.
Don’t worry if you see the cake crumble, it’s its characteristic! In that case the dessert will have been made to perfection. Now let’s move on to some restaurants that I suggest for tasting the typical dishes of Mantua.
Typical restaurants of Mantua
Among the restaurants where you can taste the typical Mantuan dishes there is the Trattoria Il Trovatore in Piazza Sordello 49 where the kitchen uses zero km products. This restaurant is also recommended for its view of the Doge’s Palace and the Duomo. Then there is the Osteria dell’Oca with its genuine flavors, the result of a careful selection of raw materials.
An environment that the owners themselves define rustic and vintage at the same time and the typical dish in which the restaurant specializes is risotto.
To try the bigoli, another specialty of the Mantua area, you cannot miss the bigoleria al torchio. It is a tavern specialized in this type of pasta. Impossible to resist so much variety!
What are you waiting for to try the dishes of the Mantua area? Let me know your choice and if you have appreciated the taste of tradition. I also leave you the city guide, I’m sure it will be useful!