In Cittadella and the surrounding area, there is great respect for ancient culinary traditions, the main influence on the kitchen coming from rural life and countryside. Polenta in all its possible forms plays the leading role: yellow, white and even sweet cake “La polenta di Cittadella” a cake specific to these regions with origins dating back to the 1850’s.
Along with polenta don’t miss “gli osei” (birds), and other types of game and there is good fish especially fresh water fish.
Traditional Venetian dishes from surrounding areas have influenced the Cittadella kitchen, for example, the use of chicory and baccalà (a salt-cured cod).
The best known first courses are “risotto ricco alla Padovana”, rich Padovan rissoto, “il risotto con asparagi di fontaniva” asparagus risotto, the typical “Pasta e Fagioli” pasta and beans, “bigoli all’anitra” a thick pasta with duck sauce and of course all the other fantastic homemade pastas.
Second courses of meat offer typical rural flavours, like “il cappone alla canevera” (boiled capon) and fish, mostly fresh sturgeon and trout, that are fished in the lakes next to the Brenta river.
For centuries Padova has been known for its award winning wine, it was exalted by Petrarca and Ruzzante and the vineyards on the Euganean and Bagnoli hills are now cultivated by the experienced wine growers of the DOC Wine Consortium.
In several towns surrounding Cittadella the millennia-old cheesemaking tradition is continued and the flavourful Grana Padano and Asiago produced. Here are some DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta literally translated “Protected Designation of Origin”) products produced in the Cittadella region: yellow and white polenta, Biancoperla corn flour, Montasio cheese, variegated Castelfranco endives, asparagus from Fontaniva, San Martino di Lupari nougat, Pinza cake, Brugnolaro grappa, the typical cake “La polenta di Cittadella” (sold in shops of the town centre and in the D.D. Orsolan di Orsolan Dario bakery located in via Molino, 29 – 35014 Fontaniva (Padova)), and Morisco chocolate (the pure chocolate, sold at their factory located in via Borgo Vicenza, 111, Cittadella).