History of Parma Cuisine
Footnotes to Parmesan Gastronomy
Parma's gastronomic fame dates back to early times and, thanks to the contribution of its Dukes and Princes, continued to grow over the centuries.
The Farnese, the splendor-loving ruling family of the Duchy of Parma, also had a soft-spot for the table. Their largesse in preparing banquets astonished foreigners and even the highly-refined French acknowledged that ducal fare was on the level of that of Versailles, home of the great chefs of the day. In a cookbook from that era we find a recipe for Uova alla Farnese, tortellini pasta rings filled with onion, chicken liver and mushrooms that served as a bed for poached eggs covered with Bernese sauce.
Other recipes include: Minestra alla duchessa Farnese, cream of rice soup with chicken dumplings and asparagus; Salmone alla Ranuccio, poached salmon with caper sauce, garnished with oysters and mushrooms; Filetto di bue alla Duchessa, beef loin fillet with black truffle, baby onions and brain dumplings; Tacchino alla Farnese, roast turkey served with braised tongue, beans and cucumber.
From G. Gonizzi, Le memorie del Ciambellano. Storie di cucina nel Ducato. I, in Parma Capitale Alimentare, 43, 2000, pp 45-61.
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