If Italy is known as the food capital of the world, then Emilia Romagna is renowned as the capital of Italian food. So many of the delicious Italian recipes you already know and love come from this region.
One of the most famous Italian recipes is Bolognese sauce, known and loved worldwide. This meat, tomato and herb based sauce, known as ragu, is usually served with tagliatelle in Italy but is equally delicious with spaghetti or any other pasta. All the local restaurants near to Goat Cottage make their own ragu sauce as well as fresh homemade pasta. Most recipes include a mixture minced beef and pork with sieved tomato known as passata, celery, onion and carrot as the main ingredients.
No holiday in Emilia Romagna is complete without tasting world famous Parma ham, known locally as ‘Prosciutto crudo’. This delicious meat, from the pig's leg, is cured and finely sliced. Come glamping in Italy and you can enjoy this delicious Italian delicacy hand carved at the table.
A highlight of your walking holiday in the Apennines is to discover the delicious local Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (known as Parmesan in England). This famous Italian cheese is hard and granular, made from cows' milk, full of flavour and very versatile, ideal for eating as it is, grating or cooking.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is exclusive to the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of Mantua and Bologna. Close to your holiday accommodation at Goat Cottage are two large cheese producers, only a 15 minutes drive away. Why not include a tour of the factory during your Italian holiday? The nearest producer is at Carnola and you can see their website here
The photo is from the shop where the cheese is produced in nearby Minozzo. A kilo of the high quality Parmigiano-Reggiano costs just 13 euros, freshly vacuum packed while you wait. Ricotta cheese is a by-product and costs just 4 euros a kilo.
Balsamic Vinegar, ‘Aceto’, is a rich dark vinegar made from grape skins left over from wine production. World famous Balsamic vinegar has been made here since the 11th century, and was used in cooking but mainly as a medicinal remedy. No Italian kitchen is complete without Balsamic vinegar although it's now mainly used as a cooking ingredient.
In Reggio Emilia, the grapes used for Balsamic vinegar are from Trebbiano and Lambrusco grape varieties.
The vinegar goes through a 5 barrel process, each barrel made from different wood so the vinegar takes on some of the wood flavour from each as it is transferred to smaller barrels over a period of time. Only two places in Italy have a licence (Protected Geographical Status) to produce ‘real’ Balsamic vinegar - Modena and Reggio Emilia - and your holiday accommodation is only one hour from both of these cities, There is a consortium for the protection of Balsamic Vinegar in Reggio Emilia click here for details.
Balsamic tours and tastings can be booked prior to your visit and incorporated into your rambling holiday in Italy.
Italian wine. Wine is an essential part of the Italian way of life. Every region of your holiday destination, Emilia Romagna, is proud of its own produce: Trebbiano, Occhio di Gatto, Spergola, Berzemino and Lambrusco varieties, Marani, Salamino, Maestri, Montericco, Sorbara and Ancellotta.
Near to your self-catering accommodation in the Apennines, you'll find a ‘Cantina’ (Wine Cellar) in the centre of Villa Minozzo, where a tasting session can be arranged. Remember to enquire about booking in advance for this important highlight of your holiday in Northern Italy.