A gastronomic tour through Emilia Romagna!
Boasting 41 DOP and DOC products, Emilia Romagna offers a veritable gastronomic journey through cheese, meat, pasta, wine and much more. Guests can embark on a trip through the picturesque countryside and art cities of the region along the ancient Roman Road of the Via Emilia, to sample every culinary delight, from the bubbly Lambrusco in Modena to the nutty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in Reggio Emilia and the sweet prosciutto ham in Parma.
Piacenza and Parma region
Piacenza prides itself on its three cold cuts, Coppa, Pancetta and Salami, all of which are awarded CDO recognition. Excellent wines are also produced in the hills around Piacenza, in particular the red wine Gutturnio DOC and the white Ortrugo DOC.
No trip to Parma is complete without a visit to the local butcher for a slice of the best prosciutto ham in Italy, hung for twelve months and stamped with the city’s ducal crown. Delicious on its own or with a slice of honeydew melon, visitors can enjoy this local delicacy on summer evenings paired with a glass of the local wine before wandering through the atmospheric city to a restaurant for dinner.
Reggio Emilia and Modena region
Reggio Emilia and Modena boast some of the foodie highlights of the region. Guests can sample tangy traditional balsamic vinegar, aged in a wooden barrel for a minimum of 12 years, and pesto modenese, a rich pork spread of lard, garlic and rosemary. These are accompanied by the joyously bubbly red Lambrusco wine in its authentic dry style. Visitors can also witness the creation of the pungent 36-month-old Parmigiano Reggiano in the cheese capital of Reggio Emilia and those with a real passion for cheese can attend a tour of the cheese factory to observe how the fascinating production process is carried out.
Bologna and Ferrara region
The capital city of Emilia Romagna, Bologna, is known for its egg and filled pasta made with soft wheat flour. Bologna is notable for pasta dishes like tortellini, lasagne, gramigna and tagliatelle which are also found in many other parts of the region in different declinations. It is also home to the sweet cold cut of mortadella, often flavoured with spices.
The cuisine of Ferrara is heavily influenced by the court of the House of Este which favoured the blend of sweet and savoury flavours – an example of this is the pumpkin-filled pasta parcels ‘cappellacci di zucca’, traditionally served with butter and sage. The local bread, coppia, is also a delicious speciality of Ferrara.
Ravenna and Forlì-Cesena region
Ravenna has rich agricultural traditions from fruit farming in the plains to olive growing in the hills. The Adriatic coast also boasts plenty of oily fish including sardines, anchovies and mackerel.
Piadina, a delicious flatbread, is the most famous item on any table (or indeed street corner) in the Forli-Cesena region. It is usually paired with a creamy squacquerone cheese and locally produced salami. The dessert wine of Sangiovese di Romagna DOC is produced in the hills between Forli and Cesena and goes perfectly with roasted chestnuts or fruit tarts.
There are plenty of white truffle-hunting opportunities in the hills of Rimini. On a mini hunt in the morning, visitors can observe the teamwork between the truffle hunter and his dog and spot the marks of deer and wild boar in the secret places where truffles grow before enjoying a delicious truffle-filled lunch, washed down with one of the local wines of the region, Sangiovese, Trebbiano or Pagadebit.
Emilia Romagna is home to a number of cookery schools which offer guests the opportunity to hand-make and fill pasta, and learn all about the DOP products of the region. Many cookery schools are located in the picturesque hills and plains surrounding the major towns of the region and guests can sleep overnight in the farms, following the hearty dinner that they have created. These include Casartusi in Forlimpopoli, and a long list of cooking school .