Italy’s Culinary Capital
4 Foods Not to Miss!
Italy is a country synonymous with world-class cuisine, Emilia Romagna is a region of Italy that stands apart as a culinary superstar, and home to many of the country’s most well-known foods. Spanning north from the Apennines to the fertile Po Valley, this region not only produces some of Italy’s finest dishes, but is also filled to the brim with fascinating art and history.
Cycling through Emilia Romagna allows you to take in the scenic landscape and taste your way through the birthplace of iconic Italian cuisine including these four unforgettable foods:
When a cheese rind has Parmigiano-Reggiano stenciled on it, it proves that the cheese was produced in the areas of Bologna, Mantua, Modena, or Parma (all located in Emilia Romagna). Under Italian law, only cheese produced in the Emilia Romagna provinces may be labelled “Parmigiano-Reggiano”. Also known as the king of cheese, historic Parmigiano Reggiano has deep roots in a region that has protected and honored the environment and process involved in the production of this delicacy.
Prosciutto di Parma
Prosciutto di Parma (Proscuitto) is a thinly sliced dry-cured ham that is served uncooked (crudo). A number of regions have their own variations of prosciutto, but the most prized is the Prosciutto di Parma from the Emilia-Romagna region. The pigs are bred and raised according to the highest standards in the region and the prosciutto is produced in a traditional manner that has remained consistent over the centuries.
Authentic aceto balsamico tradizionale – Modena’s original balsamic vinegar is one of the great highlights of this region. This Italian specialty is still made in a centuries-old process wherein grape concentrate is left to ferment and thicken for 12+ years allowing it absorb flavors of the barrels and transforms into a rich vinegar. This has been a long-prized staple in Italian kitchens and has made its way into kitchens across the globe. For those willing to wait, the 25 year aged balsamic is like nothing you will ever taste.
*Balsamico tradizionale is not your run of the mill salad dressing. Add a few drops to risotto or frittata, drizzle it over chunks of parmigiano, or even gelato — and enjoy as it elevates flavors!
Tagliatelle – derived from the Italian word tagliare – meaning “to cut”, are a traditional pasta variety from Emilia-Romagna. Tagliatelle are made with egg and characterized by their long, flat ribbons (similar in shape to fettuccine or linguine). The classic way to serve this pasta delicacy is with hearty Bolognese sauce, however it can be served with an endless variety of sauces.