Ostiglia is located in an area of distinct agricultural and zootechnical vocation: "Ostiglia" rice, pig farm, agnolini, lambrusco and grain, as well as local and delicious desserts populate the local menu.
Ostiglia is located in an area of outstanding agricultural and zootechnical vocation. Already from the sixteenth century. A.D. the Gonzaga, continuing the restoration work of the "Selva Ostiglia" facilitated the cultivation of rice. The restoration had begun by the Benedictine monks after the barbarian raids, and enhanced the prevailing presence of water. In 1850, a kind of rice called "Ostiglia" was produced, of great quality and easy to manufacture, but which was gradually overturned by "Vialone Nano". Risotto is today one of the symbols of local gastronomy. The best known is the Risotto the Pilot, with pork, dry and well separated grains. The "puntèl" variant, which adds a chicken or a pork rib, can be considered a unique dish.
The abundance of water has also ensured intense fishing activity in the past. Catfish, eel, tinca, carp, pike, frogs, jumbo are today ingredients that evoke the ancient flavors of tradition. Typical first courses of the holiday days, the Agnolini in Brodo, which, like Bevr 'in Vin, with the addition of Lambrusco wine in the broth, can serve as an appetizer and the characteristic Pumpkin Tortelli, to be seasoned with melted butter and sage, with gravy tomato or salami. The breeding par excellence, from antiquity, is that of pigs, from which are obtained products for starters, second courses, fillings and seasonings: salami, ham, bacon, cotechini, horsemas ("snack" mantovano fried pork fat, fried and flavored), etc.
The typical dairy product of the territory to the left of the Po is the Grana Padano. Doughy cheese with a sweet and tasty taste, unavoidable on the first courses, is also served alone or accompanied by honey, balsamic vinegar, champagne, or in the preparation of recipes. Also used is Parmigiano Reggiano, produced in the neighboring area to the right of the Po. In addition to the common fruits and vegetables, the pear mantel, watermelon and melon are also grown, accompanied by raw ham, which offers a recipe that is appreciated in the summer for its freshness and lightness. A well-appreciated bakery product, bread, is also made in the varieties of grissini and traditional crisps.
Ideal accompaniment for tasty local dishes, red and sparkling Lambrusco wine, one of the few red wines that can be served fresh, recently local produce. To close the meal you can not miss the cakes: Sbrisolona - sweet dry, crumbly, not cut into slices, but broken with your hands - and the Ostiglia pie, with zabaione and almonds, ostigliese variant of the mantovana Torta Elvezia, locally created at the beginning of the 20th century.
In order to preserve the tradition, the territory and the health, the birth of the Melone Company Museum, with antique non-commercial varieties, for the recuperation of once-grown seeds and the production of antique seeds, cultivated and worked with traditional techniques.