One of the toughest things about Italy are the names of everything. There are so many regions, sub-regions, and this, that, and the other it can sometimes just get a bit much. But luckily food and drink are to hand to get you through.
Have you heard of Emilia Romagna before? Yes? No? First time I heard about it was Football Italia on Channel 4 back in the 90s. Bologna, Reggiana, Piacenza, and Parma were big teams in those days. Many of you will have heard about it as the home Ferrari or Ducati. Maybe not.
Nowadays though we’ve got access to some big food and drink products from the area. As much as there’s no such thing as Bolognese sauce (a UK marketing invention), there is lasagna, and there is tortellini and tagliatelle.
What things pop into your head when you think of Parma? Ham and cheese, right? Parmesan cheese (and Grana Padano from Piacenza) has to be one of the biggest world export success stories ever! It’s just so good!
Pigs are a big deal round here. There’s Parma Ham from…well…Parma, pancetta from Piacenza, and the amazing mortadella from Bologna. That’ll sort out any trendy meat boards in a gastro pub.
Any salad lovers out there? It’s ok to admit it! Balsamic Vinegar, which is made from reducing wine grapes, are made in tight processes in Modena and Reggio Emilia. It’s funny that what began as by-product is now more famous than the wines themselves.
But we’re going to change that this week. Had it not been for all the shite on the shelves in the past 30 years or so we’d be talking about Lambrusco in such glowing terms. Here’s our chance!
Other Posts in NWTW Week 46: