Peara’… not la pera

November 21, 2013 / Food & Wine
Verona, Veneto

Don’t confuse “peará” (an accent on that final “a”) with “pera” (“pear”). A cucina povera dish originating in the 9th-century (according to a much-loved Verona legend), la peará is centerpiece on the table of Veronesi culinary specialties.

Perea and red wine

A culinary itinerary was not planned but it happened: after our first Verona dinner of bollito con la peará, I was on the hunt for Verona’s best.

At breakfast the following morning our B&B hostess, Signora Maria Teresa, shared peará lore, even revealing how her Nonna Benvenuta made the sauce. La peará (“peppered” in Veneto region dialect), utilizes every part of the foods available, from the head of the cattle, to the beef marrow to stale bread. For the broth: a calf head, a hen (the older, the better) and cotechino (a slow cooked pork sausage), all meats served afterwards as bollito. For the accompanying peará, the bollito‘s broth is stirred into grated bread crumbs (bread at least 15 days old, advised Nonna) toasted ’til brown in olive oil, beef marrow mixed in, then generous amounts of pepper added.

Maria Teresa's most special gift - her horseradish sauce

At Ristorante Torcolo (peará first prize for me), il bollito alla peará is served in the traditional way: wheeled around the dining room on a carrello by young host Luca, thus permitting the customers to personally select preferred slices of meat. After slicing and serving the meats, small bowls of other sauces are placed alongside the ubiquitous peará: one of capers/parsley, a horseradish sauce, la mostarda (a Veneto mustard/ fruit chutney) and sometimes puree’ di patate (mashed potatoes).

luca slices
Il bollito con la perea' at Torcolo - squisito!
Sauces for the boiled meats, peara, too

Luca with his bollito carrello crosses paths with his mamma Paola spinning her dolci carrello through the dining room.

Luca's pride and joy in his work

Go easy on the bollito alla peará and you might have room for the temptations on Paola’s carrello.

Paolo serves the sweets
The dessert tray wheeled around will attempt all
Ponte Pietra spans the Adige River - Roman origins
Another view from our B&B

Castelvecchio nighttime splendor astounds

Anne Robichaud

by Anne Robichaud

An authorized Umbrian tour guide, Anne and her husband Pino worked the land for many years in the 1970’s so rural life, rural people, rural cuisine are una passione for her. See Umbria from “the inside”: join her May 2017 ten-day tour centered on discovering Umbria, Anne’s Umbria.

See for more on her Umbria tours. Do see for news on the Assisi apartment – and Assisi countryside guest house – she and Pino now rent out.

Anne writes frequently on Umbria and other areas of Italy. Read about her annual U.S. Feb/Mar cooking classes and lectures, as well as her numerous Italy insights on her blog.

9 Responses to “Peara’… not la pera”

  1. Rosemary

    Anne! You made me swoon this morning! I left my heart in Verona! (among other places!) but I never heard of this dish when we lived there – how did I miss that! Thank you for the beautiful photos of this often-overlooked city as people rush to Venice and the lakes. They don’t know what they are missing.

  2. Anne Robichaud

    Rosmary, you said it: anyone heading to Venice HAS to take time for Verona.
    Our three days in Verona was like just entering the lobby of a vast and glorious theater

  3. David Barneby

    I have never been very fond of Bollito , but much depends on the cut of meat .
    Bollito alla Pearà does look delicious on the plate . I can see a lot of other delicious deserts at the restaurant too . I should have gone to Verona for the opera , but have only been on one occasion to the horse show , where friends were competing .

  4. Jennifer Erdmanis

    Thank you Anne for an account of a delicious meal in lovely Verona. I have heard of bollito, but have not tasted it on our few trips to the Veneto Region. Verona is a beautiful city which we visited on our last trip to Venice, 2 beautiful different Vs.

  5. While taking a group on a painting trip to Umbria, I was fortunate to have Annie as our tour guide in Assisi. Not only was she very knowledgeable, but her delivery was amusing and informative! We all said that the day with Annie was the highlight of the trip!

  6. Thanks for this great tip Anne. The restaurant looks fabulous and really want to try the peara’ – As for Verona, don’t forget to mention the Arena… for opera like you have never seen opera before!! It is a great town and many wonderful things to see, to do and to eat!! Mary Ellen


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