Route Through the Gastronomy Museums of Emilia-Romagna
04 August, 2015
A trip to Emilia-Romagna takes you through a world of flavours, that’s for sure. Apart from its emblematic towns and magnificent traces of the past in the form of monuments, the region offers its delicious cuisine. Make sure you partake of it on your way through Bologna, Ravenna, Modena, Rimini, Ferrara, Parma or any other spot in this popular region of northern Italy. One way of getting to know their culinary delights, apart from tasting them, is to visit some of the gastronomy museums there. Following is a selection of such museums, where you can get up to speed on the history, origins, evolution and preparation of these delicacies in Emilia-Romagna.
Balsamic Vinegar Museum (Museo del Balsamico Tradizionale di Spilamberto)
(Via Roncati, 28, Spilamberto)
Balsamic vinegar or aceto balsamico has its origins in Emilia-Romagna. It is derived from a blend of different wines, both red and white. The process of making this type of vinegar is longer than for other vinegars. At Spilamberto, between Modena and Bologna, you can visit a museum dedicated to this delicious, delicate accompaniment to salads, meats and even desserts.
Museo del Prosciutto di Parma
(Via Bocchialini, 7, Langhirano)
Prosciutto is the denomination accorded Italy’s cured ham, and Parma is one of the protected designations of origin for this product, characteristic of northern and central Italy. Made from cured leg of pork or wild boar, it features in starters (antipasti), sandwiches and panini, pizzas, in pasta sauces and even as a filling in meat dishes.
This versatile product has its own museum in Parma where you can come to grips with its origins, history and manufacturing process. It is located in Langhirano, a municipality which also hosts a ham festival.
While we’re at it, in addition to the prosciutto of Parma, you’d should also try other cured sausages, including culatello from Zibello, Parma salami and spalla cotta (cooked pork shoulder) from San Secondo.
Parmesan Cheese Museum (Museo del Parmigiano Reggiano)
(C/ Corte Castellazzi, Via Volta, 5 Soragna - Parma)
Parmesan or parmigiano is a cheese which hardly requires introducing. Who hasn’t sprinkled it over pasta or risotto or used it as a grilled topping? The more inquiring minds among you will already know that its origins lie in Parma, hence the name. What you might not know is that the original recipe most likely goes back to Roman times. You will discover these and many other details at the Museo del Parmigiano Reggiano, located in Soragna. It is housed in a former cheese factory and has produce from the five Parmigiano-Reggiano-producing provinces on display. The museum exhibits cover the period from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century.
Carpigiani Gelato Museum
(Via Emilia, 45, Anzola dell’Emilia)
Just a few kilometres from Bologna, in Anzola dell’Emilia, lies this museum, dedicated to one of Italy’s most popular and refreshing products –ice-cream. Inaugurated in 2012, its over one thousand square metres of exhibition space features ice-cream machines, photos, multimedia presentations and the implements used in ice-cream making, all props used to narrate its history and evolution. Incredible as it may seem, in ancient Mesopotamia they already used snow and ice from the mountains to cool drinks served at royal banquets.
The exhibition area is part of the Carpigiani ice-cream company, which opened the museum for the purpose of educating the public about this product.
Tomato Museum (Museo del Pomodoro)
(C/ Corte di Giarola – Parco del Taro, Collecchio)
A museum dedicated to tomatoes? This fruit, originating from the Americas and ever-present in Italian cuisine, deserves its own space to be extolled and studied in greater depth. Also known locally as “red gold”, the tomato has its own museum in Collecchio, the region’s agricultural and industrial centre, situated less than half an hour from Parma.
Why not broaden your horizons and get to know Italian cuisine even further? Get your ticket here!
Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación
Images by Pink Ayla, Turismo Emilia Romagna, Kelly Hau, faungg's photos
04 August, 2015