The bortellina or burtlena, a sort of fritter made from flour and water, is one of the bulwarks of traditional popular Piacenza food.
Every town has its own particular recipe, so there are many variations on a theme, but all of them extremely tasty!
The type made in Bettola, which has received recognition as De.Co. (Municipal Name), is prepared from flour, yeast and water and is fried in boling lard. It blows up and becomes a crisp golden fritter. It tastes best when it is still hot but if made properly, it remains crisp and dry even when it has cooled down. It can be eaten alone or together with PDO cured meats of Piacenza or soft cheese.
The origins of the bortellina are lost in the mists of time because, as it was made from simple ingredients, it was usually found on the tables of the poor. What sources we have affirm that in Bettola the bortellina was already popular in the middle of the 19th century, often used in the place of bread.
In the early 1960s Gina Pancera, then head of the Pro Loco, had the idea of a great festa to celebrate this traditional dish. Today Bettola celebrates the bortellina every year at the end of August with a great fair, with food stands, allegorical floats and shows for adults and children.