Parma is another jewel in the tasty food tour of Emilia. Verdi was born just outside of Parma in the town of Roncole. There is an excellent museum in his house there, well worth the trip.
For dining in Parma, I love Cocchi where the produce arrives all day. During lunch, the customers strive to see it roll in and then immediately order some.
At La Greppia, the food is a little more modern, but the style reflects this tasteful town. The place is usually filled with a good combination of hipsters and the old guard, all eating new takes on classics like Insalata dei Nervetti with chestnuts and currant vinegar or baccala with capers and citrus. The wine list is killer and the desserts are all tasty as they are new.
Perhaps one of the craziest places to eat in all of Italy is al Cavallino Bianco in Polesine Parmense. There, only the most traditional salumi and incredible dishes are served in a stunning and elegant room all presided over by the Spigaroli family. Each course is poetry and place, the weighty air of this lower ground evident in every bite, every breath, the entire experience, like all of Emilia Romagna, a poet’s dream.