27 September 2022

Merenda Reggiana: snacks from Reggio Emilia

Ci Gusta transports you to the heart of the Italian Food Valley and Reggio Emilia, the city known throughout the world for its culture of great food and the quality of its produce.

Rich, fertile plains around the great river Po, green verdant hills and some of the most beautiful peaks of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines have inspired the creation of delicious ‘Merenda’ of humble origin but with flavours worthy of a king.

Originating in peasant homes, all these are typical dishes, where Rezdore – women known to be very skilled in kitchen and household management – transformed the very freshest ingredients directly from fields cultivated by their husbands into delightful delicacies. Flour, chard and potatoes were ever-present in the humblest of kitchens and thanks to these housewives’ inventiveness they became the staple diet of local farm labourers.

Whilst eating habits and lifestyles have changed over the last few decades, the recipes for these dishes have been handed down through generations and are still enjoyed within the Emilian territory.

With Ci Gusta, these traditional dishes from the Food Valley can now be enjoyed all over the world.

Traditional Erbazzone

The food icon of the city of Reggio Emilia par excellence is Erbazzone, (scarpasòun in local dialect) a savoury pie, traditionally prepared by farmers wives as lunch for their husbands working in the fields.

This dish is now found in all restaurants in Reggio Emilia where it can be enjoyed throughout the day. Thanks to its provenance as a typically local product it has been included by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture in the list of Traditional Italian Food Products (PAT).

This is a dish comprised of two layers of flaky and crispy crust covered with pork lard and a filling made of chard and plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, which is then baked to release all its fragrance.

Once eaten, never forgotten!

Erbazzone with olive oil

To enjoy this delicacy in a lighter format, try our Erbazzone all’olio.

As nourishing and tasty as the original, but suitable for vegetarians and those who enjoy a more delicate diet.

Erbazzone with rice

The most famous variant of this savoury pie is Erbazzone Montanaro where rice is added to the filling. Originating from when Mondine – women who worked in the rice fields of the plains – were paid in rice grain. Thereby making its way into the mountains to be included in Erbazzone, it was added to ricotta cheese creating a fulfilling & delicious version of this sublime savoury pie.

Gnocco Fritto

A few simple ingredients make a bread of simple origin but being rich in flavour it goes sublimely well with salami, cheese and vegetables. Gnocco Fritto is a delicacy consisting of dough cut into diamond or rectangle shapes and then fried so that it rises to be able to accommodate the goodness with which it is filled.

From traditional salami to soft cheese such as squacquerone or stracchino it is also fantastic with balsamic pickled onions, with raw or cooked vegetables, or even with jam!

Reggio Chizze

Chizze are a sublime union of Erbazzone and Gnocco Fritto. They are fried pieces of dough filled with the very pesto used fill the iconic savoury pie of Reggio cuisine. Bursting with flavour and perfect as an aperitif or a savoury snack. A must-try!


Tigelle are a small, round bread, typical of Emilia, often stuffed with locally cured salumi, but also with soft cheeses and vegetables. They make a great quick lunch or as a sweet version are a great breakfast or snack to enjoy anytime.

Torta Baciocca

This savoury pie is typical of the Apennines and a real comfort food. Consisting of a base of flaky pastry with thin slices of potatoes and onion, sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

An irresistible delight to the palate.

The wines of Ci Gusta

Alongside Merenda Reggiana snacks, at Ci Gusta we’re proud to offer Emilian wines with such freshness and aroma that your gastronomic journey will be unique.

Here at Ci Gusta you will rediscover Lambrusco, the most famous red wine from this region.

Enjoyed far beyond its locale, becoming one of the best-selling wines in Italy and one of the most widely exported around the world, its delicate sparkle and character is much appreciated.

If you prefer white wine, we propose Spergola, an ancient grape variety that has seduced more and more gourmets and vinologists over recent years thanks to its balanced mineral flavour profile and versatility.

Orlando Innamorato

Taking its name from Orlando Innamorato, a poem written in 1476 by Matteo Maria Boiardo, Count of Scandiano, this is a town near Reggio Emilia, where the Grasparossa grapes for this delicious Lambrusco are grown.

This deep ruby red, sparkling wine is fresh and persistent on the palate, releasing notes of berry and currants that pair beautifully with Merenda Reggiana dishes.

Orlando Furioso

This wine pays homage to Boiardo and his homeland, but this time it does so with a Lambrusco Grasparossa. Showing an intense ruby red colour & violet hues with a pronounced perfume of ripe berries.

A sparkling red wine with a low alcohol content that pairs perfectly with traditional Food Valley dishes.

Bianco di Luna

Spergola is an Italian sparkling wine that’s trending very strongly due to its balanced minerality and perfumed bouquet that set it apart from all others.

This particular wine has centuries-old origins and was already being appreciated by medieval nobles who were guests at the court of the Grand Countess Matilda of Canossa.

Brought to you by Ci Gusta, Spergola is a wine par excellence of the Reggio Emilia aperitif that can now be enjoyed all over the world.

27 September 2022 News