Emilia Romagna for Foodies
Prosciutto di Parma
4 days discovering the best of an extraordinarily tasty region!
Do you like Italian food? Then coming to Emilia-Romagna is a good idea! Here we make Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham), Parmigiano-Reggiano, the Balsamico Tradizionale, tortellini, mortadella IGP, tagliatelle and many more delicious things.
With this tour I will take you to discover several small producers of delicious food products, you will discover the places of Pellegrino Artusi, one of the fathers of Italian cookery, you will take part to some interesting hands-on cooking classes and you will taste the most traditional food products from the region, as cured meats, cheeses, handmade pasta and more.
This is an outline program; the order of the visits can change depending on the producers’ availability and on your interests.
Day one: Bologna.
I like to start the tour in Bologna walking to the vegetables market, there you can see an incredible variety of local food products: fruits, vegetables, breads, meats and much more. Here you can have a very good idea of what the local cookery is. Not far from the market you will also see the sfogline (ladies making handmade pasta) at work. On the way back to the centre we can stop to have a cappuccino at one of the most famous pastries of Bologna and then go to visit the historical shop of one of the oldest Italian chocolatiers.
The morning ends in the area of the old market of Bologna where you can have a lunch/tasting of cured meats and cheeses at one of the most famous delis in the centre of Bologna.
In the afternoon transfer to the Carpigiani factory for a gelato experience at the factory museum. Carpigiani is near Bologna, and it is a worldwide famous producer of gelato machines.
Return to Bologna in the late afternoon.
Day two: Bologna-Forlimpopoli-Brisighella-Bologna.
In the morning, we will go to Forlimpopoli, the birthplace of Pellegrino Artusi, one of the fathers of Italian gastronomy. Here you can attend a hands-on cooking class of Piadina, a sort of bread that is very typical of Romagna, the eastern part of the region. The cooking class will last for 1hour and 30 minutes approximately.
On the way back to Bologna we’ll stop at Brisighella, a charming medieval village on the hills, where we’ll have the opportunity of visiting the open air olive oil museum, because here there several varieties like the Ghiacciola, the Nostrana, the Nobildrupa and more. Some of them are autochthonous from the region, they have recently been rediscovered and in 1970, the local producers have founded a Coop, for starting the production of olive oil again. The pressing takes place in November, when, on appointment, it is also possible to visit the oil mill.
We will return to Bologna in the late afternoon.
Day three: Bologna-Modena-Parma
In the morning, we go to the brand new FICO, that is an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Contadina (Italian Farmers’ Factory). You will have some free time to stroll around the facility and to discover several traditional Italian food products from other Italian regions too, as Mozzarella di Bufala, Pecorino, Pesto alla Genovese and more. After lunch, we go to Modena and we visit an acetaia, one of the places where the Traditional Balsamico is made, we tour the facility and at the end you will have a tasting of some different ageings of Traditional Balsamico. Instead of having lunch at FICO it will also be possible to go to a restaurant where they make a Balsamico menu (to be booked in advance).
Day four: Parma-Langhirano-Parma.
After breakfast, I want to take you to one of the places where the King of cheeses, the Parmigiano-Reggiano is made. The making takes place in the morning only, and we will have to be at the factory around 8.30 am. We’ll see the end of the making, the salting and the ageing in an impressive warehouse. At the we’ll have a light tasting of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Then we will go to a small producer of several types of cured meats as Pancetta, PDO Culatello di Zibello, and other traditional local cured meats. PDO Culatello is a really special cured meat, very typical from a small part of the Parma Department. After a rich tasting that can also be a light lunch, we go to the hills of Parma, to a ham factory where the Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham) is made. We will see some of the phases of the making and the ageing of the most famous Italian ham and at the end we will stop at a wine cellar to taste two of the most traditional wines from the region as Lambrusco and Malvasia.
We will return to Parma in the late afternoon and this will be the end of our delicious and tasty journey through the traditions and the food of Emilia-Romagna.