Cugnà is the Piedmontese version of quince
preserve that is made in other parts of Italy...in
Sicily, it is called Cotognata, but is generally
only made with quince, lemon and sugar, and is
cooked into a jelly-like paste and often decoratively
In Piedmont, Cugnà contains quince,
apples, pears, sometimes grapes, zucca (squash)
dried fruits and nuts and it more of a conserve.
The fruits and nuts are cooked in grape must
and sugar – this is why it is called mostarda
d’uva, because of the grape must. It is
generally something that is prepared in the
fall, during the grape harvest, and you see
it for sale in many shops and local markets
around this time.
Piedmontese Cugnà is much more complex
than the quince cotognata of Puglia and Sicily.
Cugnà that is also known as Mostarda
d’Uva can be misleading to students of
Italian cuisine because it is nothing like traditional
mostarda from Emilia Romagna, which contains
much more sugar – the fruits are literally
candied – and mustard oil for that spicy
kick. Mostarda purchased in Bologna is
going be nothing like "mostarda" purchased
in Bra or Asti.
Cugnà is served with cheese, but more
commonly braised and roasted meats, game birds,