A tour of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy is a always a special treat enjoyed by your scribe. Headquarter yourself in Bologna and see all the culinary sites from there. What a place for fantastic food and classic restaurants serving authentic tagliatelle Bolognese. Visit the remarkable market of Mercato di Mezzo, Mortadella Bologna IGP (protected geographical indication), and wonderful bakeries such as Paolo Atti & Figli. Might also want to check out the Carpigiani Gelato Museum in nearby Anzola Dell’Emilia and the Lamborghini Factory & Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese. More controversial is the newly opened monster-sized Fico Eataly World (www.eatalyworld.it/en) Food Park some 20 minutes transport from Bologna. Particularly recommend taking a day journey to Modena to check out their wooden barrel aged balsamic vinegars (Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP) just tasted Sapore Platinum (10 year) including the Museum of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale of Spilamberto & perhaps the Ferrari Museum (plus their historical factory one in Maranello). Another fascinating day trip is to Parma for the most thrilling insights into outstanding ham and cheese of revered nine months aged Prosciutto di Parma DOP (protected designation of origin) tasting last month the Ermes Fontana product & of course long aged (at least 24 months) Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP.
All of these memories vividly returned on November 21, 2018 at a tasting of special food products followed by a dinner from the province of Emilia-Romagna organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Canada -West (www.iccbc.com) at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver. Impressed by the pasta making talents shown by Casa Artusi the very first centre of gastronomic culture to be established in Italy. Also the skills in opening a whole wheel of a Parmigiano-Reggiano. A fantastic product is Nero Di Voghiera Garlic PDO with natural fermentation (no additives, preservatives, or yeasts) for 60 days changing white to black garlic with such tasty gentler notes. Another favourite of mine are top quality fish preserve from Rizzoli operating since 1906. Particularly outstanding are anchovy fillets and especially tuna fillets both in olive oil. The dinner executed by visiting chefs was well done indeed as the menu courses show. Appropriate regional white and red wines from Nespolino featured blends of trebbiano with chardonnay plus sangiovese with some merlot. A wonderful day. In fact the day stimulated a return visit to this region for your enthusiast already booked for the Fall 2019. Recommended.
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