Malgorzata Pakula / 123RF
Emilia-Romagna in pictures + Ravenna
In brief +
Production areas for Parmigiano Reggiano can be found in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. From the earth to the forage the cows are fed, not forgetting the water and the climate, everything contributes to maintainig the highest quality. This cheese has been produced here since ancient times and if you'd like to see the production methods for yourself, you can visit one of the area's many dairies.
This product dates back to the days of Hannibal, who, after the battle of the Trebbia in 217 B.C., was welcomed to Parma with a banquet of ?salted pork thighs'. Nothing is left to chance when it comes to producing Parma ham. It is matured in the appropriate environment, known as the 'baliatici'. The opening and closing of windows in this particular environment is regulated in such a way that slight drafts of air are able to dry the meat whilst ensuring that the typical sweet taste of Parma ham is developed.
BOLOGNA 'LA GRASSA'
You cannot possibly leave Bologna without having tried its culinary specialties. The city itself is referred to as ?the fat one' not because of its heavy cuisine, but as a way of expressing its joie de vivre and love of good food. Some of its specialities include homemade egg pasta, as used in the wonderful tagliatelle bolognaise prepared with the typical ?ragù', tortellini in broth, and mozzarella sandwiches.
SPECIALTIES OF THE MODENA REGION
The secret of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, produced from the must of cooked grapes from the Modena region, lies in its slow maturing process (in an appropriate place in the attic), which can take up to 50 years. The particular temperatures guaranteed by the climate in this part of the country are a key factor in making this vinegar what it is, and enhance its characteristic sweet taste. There are numerous places where vinegar is made in Modena and the surrounding areas. Drops of it are usually used in risottos, on shavings of parmesan or even with fruit. Modena is also famous for its good wines. Don't forget to try a glass of the excellent Lambrusco DOC whilst you're here.
Palace of the Podesta, BolognaAdriano Rubino / 123RF
Palazzo d'Accursio, BolognaAnna Karus / 123RF
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