The 2 Ferrari museums – Casa natale Enzo Ferrari Vs Maranello Ferrari Museum

This article wants to tackle the dilemma of the 2 Ferrari Museums that are now available now in Modena and Maranello, and visitors seems to be confused about which is the best.

 

Maranello Ferrari Museum.

This is located about 30 minutes from Modena and it easily reached by car and attempting to go by public transport is going to be stressful if you do not know what you are doing. However you can purchase a shuttle bus ticket from the other Ferrari Museum in central Modena that will allow you to go to Maranello for a a reasonable fee. You should check for details on their website.

The Maranello structure is the one that everyone knows about, it has been built in the 1970s and it is next to the factory and the Fiorano track, so it has all the historical value that you will ever find. Inside you will find some collections of vintage Ferrari plus a collection of Formula one cars. The Maranello museum offers the possibility to tour the factory ground by shuttle bus. However you will not enter the production facility. Tickets are  priced at 14 euros for the museum, and 14 euros for the shuttle tour. The museum also has  a cafe’ and a souvenir store. To visit the museum you will need about 45 minutes.

Ferrari F1/89

The Maranello museum – a collection of F1 cars – source

Casa natale Enzo Ferrari museum in Modena.

This is the newly opened Ferrari museum in Modena, and it is located about 5 minutes from the station. This museum is housed in a fancy structure designed by  Jan Kaplicky and  it resemble to a Ferrari car bonnet. Inside you have a collection of vintage Ferraris, and sometimes other cars designed by Enzo in collaboration with other car manufacturers such as Stanguellini or Maserati. In fact the museum hosts regular themed exhibitions. The yellow structure is also attached to Enzo Ferrari house where you can learn about the designer life from this interactive part of the museum. There is also a restaurant that offers fancy dishes from the traditional Modenese cuisine. If you want to learn more about Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari please continue reading here

Canza Enzo Ferrari

Ferrari museum in central Modena

Which is the best Ferrari museum?

Both have pros and cons, it depends what are your priorities, if you have time you should stay in Modena and visit them both. You can take the shuttle bus from Casa Enzo Ferrari and then go to Maranello without struggling with public transport or renting a car.

What is good at the Maranello Ferrari museum?

It is at the historical site of the Ferrari factory, with possibilities to drive the car from 3rd parties companies around the museum  the crowds are here at the moment as it is the most famous site for Ferrari cars. The museum is definitely good for die hard Ferrari F1 fans.

What is not so good at the Maranello museum?

The museum is not easily accessible by public transport, but now you can use the shuttle bus from Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari.The museum is also dated and the exhibitions quite static, so there are no many fancy exhibitions going on. It is not  so interesting for those wanting to know more about the history behind Ferrari

What is good at the Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari museum?

It is a stone throw from Modena central Station, ideal if you do not have much time. It is a flamboyant modern structure, with themed exhibitions that are changed time to time. A real chance to learn about the cars and the people behind the marque.

What the cons at the Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari museum?

It is not at the historical site of the factory. However there are companies that allows you to drive Ferrari cars around. It is not so much about modern F1 cars.

The food idiot guide to Modena: balsamic vinegar, pasta, and secret trattorias

There is more in Modena than traditional balsamic vinegar, Emilia Delizia explores some hidden gems in the city of Aceto balsamico tradizionale and beyond.

 

Balsamic vinegar tour and tasting in Modena

First of all you should definitely come to Modena for 2 main reasons: balsamic vinegar (the PDO traditional one) and Ferrari sport cars. There are hundreds of acetaia (balsamic vinegar producers) around Modena, but not many are in the city centre and reachable by taxi or public transport. Traditional balsamic vinegar producers would be very happy to explain how the production happens and arrange a vinegar tasting for you.

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Traditional balsamic vinegar tasting and producer tour in Modena

Mercato Albinelli – ancient food market in Modena.

The Albinelli market is the main market of the town. it was thought to replace the market that was taking place in the main piazza since medieval times. The covered market has been established in the 1930, and it is part of the historical market circuit in Italy.
Here you will find all the gourmet food you always wanted. Prosciutto, culatello, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, fresh sea food and fish, cheese from Emilia Romagna and many products from all over Italy.

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Modena market – Mercato Albinelli

 Trattoria Aldina – Secret dining experience in Modena.

Secret and pop up restaurants are pretty much fashionable these days. Trattoria Aldina was not born to be one, however it feels like it. The entrance is not at street level and you will have to use the door bell and run up a flight of stairs to gain access. Once you get in, you have this home feeling, just like  you are going to have lunch at your Italian aunty flat. And you did not see her for see for a decade. Home made fresh pasta and traditional cuisine.

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Restaurant trattoria Aldina in Modena

Modena is pasta business.

In Modena you are in the centre of fresh pasta making business. Many are the shops in the city centre that make their own pasta to take away, of course you will have to have access to a kitchen to enjoy them and cook as you like. You will find tortellini, tortelloni, tagliatelle, tagliollini and other fancy shapes. Pasta in Modena is always made with soft wheat and eggs are used for binding.

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 Antica macelleria Ghioldi in Modena.

If you are into meat at the butcher shop Macelleria Ghioldi you will find a way to stuff your belly with cibi della memoria, of food of the memory. In other words these are forgotten dishes that the owner wanted to bring back to the present days. Like cervella impanate (breaded brains) or trippa alla parmigiana (Parma style tripes), or cotiche e fagioli (pigs skin and beans)

 

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the forgotten foods – meat eating in Modena

The secret confessions of a Parma ham maker – How to make prosciutto.

Curing ham in a culinary art and it should not be taken lightly.

To become a master Parma ham salter might take many years. Fabrizio of La Perla Parma ham factory in Langhirano says it might take up to 10 years to really master the ability to put the right amount of salt in the right places, he explained during one of our prosciutto tour in the area.

According to the discipline of the Parma ham consortium the back legs of the animals must arrive quickly at the curing facility. In fact the freshly slaughtered meat has bacteria growing on it, the faster you start the production, the least salt you will need to use.

Parma ham is famous for its delicate aroma, and surprisingly it is not salty at all. This is obtained by adding little salt, time and patience. But curing meat with little salt also increases your chances to fail.

When the meat arrives in Langhirano is loaded on a machine that massage and salts the rind.. The difficult bit is to salt the exposed meat, and that it is done exclusively by hand. Below you can see the 3 fundamental points where the leg is salted precisely by the skill full hands of the master salter.

1) it is important that the meat is not covered in salt, but it is applied only in these critical points. Firstly salt is applied on the femoral head as you can see in the picture above. These are points that if they are not salted correctly they will spoil easily.

2) Secondly he presses on the femoral artery, as pictured above, and he adds salt in the area that he created with his fingers. So this is an other critical point where the ham curer should take care of.

3) The 3rd and last part that has to be salted is the fatty part that it is between the meat and the rind of the pig. Therefore the master salter takes a handful of salt and smears it along the fatty line of the leg.

Emilia Delizia organises Parma ham factories tours at small and artisan producers in the Parma province. If you are interested in ham curing techniques we will be glad to organise a detailed visit in the language of your preference.

 

What is Gnocco Fritto?

Gnocco fritto as we call it in Modena has different names depending from where you are eating it. In Bologna they call it crescentina fritta, in Parma torta fritta.

What is gnocco fritto exactly?

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folded gnocco fritto sandwich with a couple of slices of Parma ham

It belongs to an ancient culinary tradition of Emilia where nothing had to go to waste, and one of the most common condiment in the farmers traditional was clarified lard. Gnocco fritto is simply dough made from flour, water and a pinch of salt then fried in lard, a by-product of ham and salami making. Gnocco must the eaten piping hot straight from pan. It must be puffy and empty inside. You can eat on its own for breakfast with a cappuccino. As suggested it was the typical breakfast food for the poor farmer, at the time accompanied with caffe’ latte rather than the fancy cappuccino. An other suggestion would be to make a sandwich with 2 gnocco fritto pieces and stuff them with Parma ham, Mortadella, Coppa or any other salumi that you can think of.

A modern version of gnocco fritto.

If you want to replicate the wonders of the poor but tasty cuisine of Emilia. you can simply prepare a dough using sparkling water. The bubbles in the water will make the dough expand and rise when cooked. And instead of clarified lard you can use extra virgin olive oil. This is one of the best ways to fry as olive oil withstand higher temperatures and it is easier to digest than other oils or fats.

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The Italian gnocco fritto breakfast – a gem from our farmer tradition

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Foods that you must eat in Bologna

5 foods you should eat when visiting Bologna. This province has one of the greatest culinary tradition in Italy because its area encompasses the Appennini mountains and the Pianura Padana. The array of basic ingredients is enormous giving birth to sophisticated and traditional cuisine.

Crescentine or Tigelle.

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a typical dish of Bologna and Modena: crescentine or also called tigelle

Crescentine are simple small breads traditional baked sandwiched in disks of clay and cooked by the kitchen fireplace. The ingredients for the dough are simply flour, water salt, yeast (sometimes a splash of cream). The greatness of this bread is that it becomes crispy outside and it is hot and moist inside therefore thy are just great when cut in half and stuffed with the local salumi. Crescentine are the food of the Appennini mountains and widely eaten across the provinces of Bologna and Modena. For a nice addition you should try them with Pesto alla Modenese. This nothing else than pork lard mixed with a pinch of salt, garlic, rosemary and parmesan cheese.

Mortadella

Mortadella vendor in Bologna

It is long the tradition of pork raising in the Emilia Romagna area. The meat is mostly consumed in form of sausages, salami and hams, and rarely eaten fresh. Bologna most iconic sausage is Mortadella. Lately this cooked sausage is living a revival and producers are trying to move away from the unhealthy image of a fatty sausage. According to the traditional recipe it must be made from the lean and noble parts of the animal which are ground to a fine paste, fat cubes and spices are added, then stuffed into a casing suitable for the size, and finally slowly cooked for 2/3 days at low temperature. Mortadella can be thinly sliced or cubed.

Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Parmesan cheese – Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmesan cheese is the king of cheeses. Made from high quality unpasteurised milk and aged from a minimum of 12 months. However rarely it is eaten at this age. Bolognese people like their cheese when it is at least 24 months old. At this age it has fully developed its potential flavours and it is suitable to enhance the stuffing of tortellini . Bologna produces Parmigiano Reggiano only on the west bank of the Reno River. At the moment of writing there are about 10 producers of the cheese in the Bologna area, you will find more proudcers in Mantua, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma.
Shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano can be also enjoyed with a few drops of traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena.

Tortellini.

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window shopping in Bologna: hand made tortellini

Tortelllini are the quintessential Bologna’s winter food. In town there is no Christmas without a plate of tortellini cooked in capon broth. As the legend goes they have been shaped according to the navel of Lucretia Borgia. As she checked in to a INN, the host impressed by her beauty was trying to spy her from the keyhole, but he could only see her pretty belly button.
Traditionally tortellini are made from sheets of egg pasta. Then stuffed with minced pork, parmesan cheese, mortadella, prosciutto, and the recipe changes depending on the family who makes it. Today you can buy tortellini almost everywhere but the best ones are those made by hand. They are pricey but well worth every cents.

Zuppa Inglese.

To conclude our short guide to the Bologna food tour we wanted to include a dessert. After all sweets always close all good meals. Zuppa Inglese is another iconic dish of Bologna but quite common all over Emilia. This pudding is inspired from English trifles in fact the the name translate roughly to “The English Soup” . it is made from 2 custards: egg and a chocolate custard which are then layered on top of savoiardi biscuits (Italian Ladyfinger). These biscuits are spongy and especially made to soak up the liquors that are added.

 

 

 

Parma to Cinque Terre – A day trip itinerary

If you are planning your itinerary for your next holiday in north west Italy you should read this short article to get more insight about getting to Cinque Terre from Parma and vice versa.

What to see in Parma.

On the Emilia Delizia’s website there are many articles about the beauty of Parma. You can explore the churches and the theaters of the city in a couple of days and of course you can also plan to take a Parma ham tour or a culatello ham tour around the country side.

How to get to the Cinque Terre from Parma.

Portovenere – not Cinque Terre

The best way it is to take the regional train from Parma main station to La Spezia centrale. Unfortunately these trains are not very fast and it will take a couple of hours to get there, however the service runs at least once per hour. When you are arrive in La Spezia you will need to get the local train to the Cinque Terre. At the station you can buy a cheap ticket that will serve as a day pass and you can visit all the five lands with the same fare. From La Spezia the first of the Cinque Terre is Riomaggiore.
Alternatively you could easily drive from Parma to La Spezia in just one hour by taking the A15 and head south. In busy periods it is not recommended to try to park as close as possible to the Cinque Terre, but leave your car in La Spezia and take the local train instead.

La Spezia – The forgotten gem of Liguria.

Do not leave La Spezia too quickly, often tourists do so just to regret it later. For  lunch or dinner time you should not miss a meal at I Pescatori. Head to the port of La Spezia and look for for the Italians queueing in front a kiosk. I Pescatori is the unpretentious restaurant of the local cooperative of fishermen. The food is simply amazing for a ridiculous price and of course the fish just came out of their nets. It is a self service, so do not expect a posh dining experience, but what is served is very good.

Get a Ferry to the Cinque Terre and other stunning locations (Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso).

It makes sense to make La Spezia your home base, there is a lot to see around and you do not need to pay premium prices. The food is good and the town is pretty. From the port you can get ferries to almost any location in the area. If are heading to the Five Lands you can get a panoramic ferry tour from La Spezia port. The boats run regularly and some fares allow you to hop on and off to the desired location.

Portovenere. It should not be missed. The small sea town is included in the UNESCO world heritage. Revellers should take the short hike to Chiesa di San Pietro. A typical religious building with black and white stripes overlooking the steep cliffs of the Gulf of the Poets. The views are simply stunning here.

Riomaggiore to Manarola, the route of love.

Riomaggiore is the first of the five lands coming from La Spezia. The initial settlement is built in the XIII century and mostly composed of the Case Torri .Tower houses built by the Genoans. The clever constructions had a military purpose.  In fact they were build to protect difficult areas and have a proper view of the sea. With time these buildings become small urban agglomerates and they were made pretty by plastering the stone with cheerful colours.

It is very popular to hike from Riomaggiore to Manarola by using the Via dell’ Amore, of course you can use the train instead. The ticket for the picturesque trail costs at the time of writing 5 euros. Via dell’Amore is part of a longer hike that connects all 5 lands. The Route of Love is well maintained and it is very easy to walk, making a favourite for the tourists and visitors alike.

The food of the Cinque Terre.

The food in Liguria is based on the Mediterranean diet. So a lot of pasta, chickpeas, fish, fresh vegetable, olive oil and good wine. The most iconic dishes of the area are: focaccia, pesto, sfarinata, and a long array of fish dishes. Sfarinata is made using chickpeas and oilve oil. The chickpea flour is mixed with water and turned into a runny compound, then poured into a metal dish which has been previously oiled. The whole preparation is then baked in the oven. The result is a moist and tasty omelette like consistency that can be eaten on its own or even inside the focaccia.
Another dish that you will repeatedly see in the area are the muscoli (mussels) that are cooked in so many way.  another one is frittura mista, a mixture of white fishes, prawns, and squids that are lightly floured and then fried in olive oil.

Food tours and gourmet holidays in the Cinque Terre.

Emilia Delizia organises gourmet holidays for you and your group in the area. Activities would include cookery classes, wine tastings, accommodation packages, chauffeured transfers from and to Parma. We also would be happy to organise hiking and boat tours from La Spezia or from any of the Cinque terre, including  Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.

Food  and wine tours in Cinque Terre.

It is possible to visit olive oil and wine farms in the area, as well as fish canneries can explored nearby. For parties interested in olive oil farming is best to come in the late autumn as it is the olive harvest times. We would be glad to organise olive picking and grape picking activities for you.

Fish is always the main dish here in Liguria – Fritto misto on the right

 

 

A day around Parma between ham, culatello and castles

Parma is a town in the north west of Italy, not far from Milan and the Cinque Terre. Parma is well connected via train links, motorway and recently even by air with the newly opened Verdi airport which connects the town with London Stansted. Thanking to this new possibility it is now possible to spend a long weekend to explore the best food in Italy, medieval castles and aristocratic palazzoes.

culatello in Parma

Culatello hanging from the humid cellars

The Castle of Torrechiara and Parma ham.

Heading  south just   30 minutes by car from central Parma, we will find the Castle of Torrechiara. An important manor overlooking the Parma river valley. Once belonging to the Rossi family is now a museum open to everyone interested in visiting this splendid example of medieval architecture.  The highlight of the visit is the magnificent “bedroom” once dedicated to Pier Maria Rossi’s lover: Bianca. But this is not all. The Torrechiara castle is only part of the fun. The castle’s adjacent town is the centre of the Parma ham production. In Langhirano you can sample the best prosciutto that you can find around, and directly from the producers too. The best of all comes when you can stay at the castle b&b and have your dinner right at Locanda del Castello a restuarant providing excellent and  typical Parma style dishes.

Farm stay with Parmesan production.

To make things more interesting you could stay a selected farm and wake up in the morning with an amazing breakfast followed with a tour of parmesan cheese production. This is possible in Lesignano Bagni not far from the Parma ham production area and it also close to a balsamic vinegar producer. In fact you can visit all 3 products in just one one day with a 2 night stay.

Colorno, little Paris, and culatello ham.

The Parma province has a lot to offer and maybe you need to start to make choices in your long weekend. The area once under the French control was named the little Paris, due to the charming resemblance of the river side of the two cities. But another important guest was living in the small town of Colorno. Marie Luise duchess of Parma and wife of Napolon. She made Colorno her home and she had a whole palazzo for herself. The ducal palace of Colorno is a splendid example of renaissance architecture. Not to be missed is the hourly tour inside the palace. Do not forget to walk in the English style palace garden that is always accessible during daylight.
But Colorno is home of another delicacy: Culatello ham. Probably it is the first location making the ham heading north from Parma. Remember that many producers are happy to do guided visits inside their cellars, so just follow the culatello road sign and ask.

Polesine Parmense and the Antica Corte Pallavicina.

Heading north from Parma towards the great Po’ river we will encounter an unpretentious village called  Polesine. The highlight here is the building named after the noble parmense family: the Pallavicini. While the village has been moved from the shores for the river, remarkably the Antica Corte still sits next to to the banks of Po’. The Antica Corte Pallavicina has been completely restored by Massimo Spigaroli, who is the keeper of the secrets of culatello. He will oblige to show you the massive brick cellars of the palace literally filled with the precious ham. Massimo also organises cooking lessons, and ham making sessions. Cycling and boat tours of the Po’ river. Of course you can also stay at the palace by renting one of the modern and comfortable room.

Roccabianca.

Roccabianca literally the white castles lies in the flat of the Parma province just few kilometres from the Po’ River. Pier Maria Rossi not satisfied with Torrechiara castle builds another palace for Bianca (his lover) here in the foggy and marshy lands north of Parma. Roccabianca is simply spectacular, the external walls of the inner courts are completely covered in ivy. Here it is easy to imagine tales of knights and dames. But Roccabianca is also the home of the Italian author Giovannino Guareschi, maybe known more familiar to the Italians than the foreign visitors. It is still worth to mention that you can visit his house and discover this stories of Don Camillo and Peppone. Of course Roccabianca is one of the homes of Culatello, so enjoy it while you are there.

Zibello.

The home of the famous culatello and also the headquarters of the consortium. In November there is the culatello festival called Novemberpork. The local fiesta is totally dedicated to swine delicacies. Their tagline is: speriamo che ci sia la nebbia, it translates as we hope that it is going to be foggy. For many might sound strange but the producers claim that they need to open the windows of their cellars to let the fog. Apparently you will need that sort of humidity to cure the ham correctly.

Soragna.

Needless to say that here in Soragna you will find 2 things: a castle and culatello ham. It is a tiny comune with a characteristic porticoed town centre. While you are here you should visit the Rocca di Soragna, another magnificent castle with the advantage of still being inhabited by its prince descending from the Lupi family. English guided visits can be organised and culatello producers are in range.

San Secondo Parmense.

San Secondo is the home of spalla di San Secondo. A pork speciality made with the front shoulders of the animal. The cooked version is served warm with torta fritta (a earthy fried bread) coupled together it is a mind blowing experience  The flat land around Parma do not produce great wines but if you come across the Fortana wine, or Fortanina you should not miss the chance to try it, light and fruity is heart-warming in those foggy nights.

 Cycling Activities from Parma – Discover the great river from Polesine Parmense.

The Po’ river offers plenty of opportunities for those wanting to cycle or walk. In fact it is possible to rent bicycles locally and go on cycling tour of the area. The activities require some sort of fitness but they are considered easy trails as they are in the flat. The day can be also combined with the navigation of the Po’ river and a stop in Cremona. Of course we will include a gourmet visit to a culatello producer.

Guided tours of San Daniele ham – A marvel of Udine gastronomic tradition

Discover the uniqueness of San Daniele Ham and explore Friuli Venezia Giulia, The best of Italy’s North-East.

San Daniele is a medieval town located in the morainic hills of Friuli, northern-east of Italy. This place in the province of Udine is famous worldwide for its tasty ham called Prosciutto di San Daniele. So, what is so unique of this ham? How is it made and how different it is from the other famous Parma ham made in Emilia Romagna Region?

The process of preparation of prosciutto is quite common: the hind leg is used and to make San Daniele is custom to leave the pig trotter on. The piece of meat is only slightly salted for a certain period of time.  The amount of time that the leg should be kept under salt is determined by the weight of the meat. A piece weighing 13 Kg should be kept in a bed of salt for 13 days. One day for each kilo of weight. The ham should also have its triangular characteristic shape. Following the drying and seasoning steps for at least 10 months and allowing up to two years of ageing the hams are ready for the consortium inspection.

The first feature of the San Daniele ham is that the pigs are bred and reared exclusively from ten regions of central-northern Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Lombrady, Piedmont, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo, Latium.) and fed with high quality fodder and a strict diet. The meat comes from authorized butchers only.

But the real trick is the geographical location of San Daniele and its micro-climate; since centuries, people have realised that this location makes the ham have a unique taste which is beyond the simple drying and preservation process. This is possible thanks to the position of this town, located between the fresh air currents from the Alps and the humid currents from the Adriatic Sea. In addition the town is located on a foothill and its excellent ventilation coupled with the low humidity of the place makes an ideal location for the seasoning of the ham. These characteristics contribute to the transformation of a simple piece of dry meat into a miracle, a mix of flavours so tasty and unique in its own. And all this by using just natural ingredients.

Thanks to this unique features in fact, the “Prosciutto di San Daniele” has been recognized as a P.D.O. product (Protected Designation of Origin) by the European Union regulation, which is in fact a label for the highest quality in terms of food.

The town of San Daniele also celebrates every year, towards the end of summer, the prosciutto festival called “Aria di Festa”, an international events that attracts thousands of tourists from the neighbouring Austria, Germany and from all over the world. A tasty and enjoyable experience which is worthwhile once in a lifetime to do also considering the beauty of this medieval town.

To reach San Daniele from Venice is quite easy. Starting from Venice go to Mestre and there take the highway up to Portogruaro. Then turn left and take the A28 and in proximity to Azzano Decimo keep left and proceed to Spilimbergo and then San Daniele. The options you have once arrived in San Daniele are plenty. You can visit the nearby medieval town like Venzone, Gemona, Spilimbergo. Or proceed to the seaside in Lignano or Grado going southwards or in Croatia if you proceed eastwards. Or alternatively proceeding northwards it will be possible to enjoy the quietness and fresh air of the Dolomites Alps, for a quite rest and a nice walking.

San Daniele ham, compared to Parma ham, is darker in colour and has a sweeter taste. For this reason Prosciutto di San Daniele is best served in thin slices together with grissini (bread sticks). Highly recommended the accomplishment with yellow-fleshed melon or with figs. Both San Daniele and Parma ham are cured only with high grade sea salt, and not not contain any sort of preservatives, on the ingredient labels we should only read: pork meat and sea salt, nothing else.

Emilia Delizia is able to organise San Daniele ham tours for interested parties. The tour include a detailed visit of one ham producer followed by a gourmet lunch with generous tasting of the local ham paired with wine. Visiting the producers requires advance bookings  and the tour can be organised according to your requirements. We can  transform your holiday in a memorable time.

 

Piadina: the secret bread of Rimini and Ravenna

PIADINA AN ITALIAN FLAT BREAD  TO BE IMAGINATIVELY STUFFED WITH ALL SORT OF DELICACIES.

As is often happens in the gastronomic history, truest popular flavours  colloquially also called “popular or poor food” are those that are guarantee to be good and healthy. The best ones are those that allow you to vary an ancient recipe and to create a traditional or a modern mean meal by just using your fantasty, in a delicious and satisfying alternative way.

The origin of the Piadina bread.

It is known and appreciated by connoisseurs and gourmets alike. The “piadina” comes from a long ancient Italian history. Someone says that everything started around the third century, according to a Roman historian. Beyond the secret knowledge in adding mysterious ingredients by the best “piadinaroli” widespread throughout the southern part of Italian Emilia-Romagna region, the basic piadina is simply composed by an handmade mixture of wheat flour, tepid water, salt, olive oil or lard. It is then laid in a thin disk-shaped flat bread with wooden tools like rolling pin and pastry-board, finally cooked on a metal plate called “testo”. Especially for those who are visiting the Adriatic Eastern coast, between an enjoyable and lively beach-life and a vibrant night-life, even in Winter, along the roads of Romagna an excellent Piadina Romagnola can be enjoyed almost anywhere.  In Rimini and Ravenna restaurants offer it instead of bread to accompany the typical meal of Romagna made of tagliatelle, lasagne, cappelletti and passatelli in brodo, salami, grilled or roasted meats and vegetables.

Romagna street food.

There are also the typical Piadina’s kiosk or small specialised shop called “Piada and Cassoni” offering only piada meals both in the classical version or with various fillings that are re-invented from time to time. Whether they are near the sea or inland, these shops offer assorted menu completely dedicated to “piadina and cassoni” or “cascioni”. The “cassone” is a piadina folded and closed in on itself like a panzerotto, to wrap stuffed with stringy cheese, such as mozzarella and tomato, or sausage and potatoes and sautéed vegetables. A must try! Yes, because piada and cassoni should be eaten hot, just pulled down from the testo. They are excellent when  stuffed with PDO Parma ham, soft cheese, sausage, grilled vegetables and even with sweet chocolate spread.

It is certain that if you try the real traditional piadina, you will enjoy a dish that satisfies your palate and your stomach. This experience will stay in your mind forever, renewing your desire to consume it again and again. For these reasons, the Piadina Romagnola has experienced in recent years a growing success even in large distribution as in supermarkets. Currently piadina is distributed in supermarkets pre-cooked, also proposed by local  cafe’ as an snack or as a part of an aperitif. When you are having a home dinner party with friends you could choose piadina as a valid alternative to the most famous pizza, combined with a good beer or  wine, such as Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore. It would be perfect when paired  with cold cuts such as salami, vegetables and cheeses, such as squacquerone (a noble soft cheese from romagna) or even with a  tuna and onion salad. There is no limit to the imagination when it comes to stuff a delicious piadina.

Rimini and Ravenna food and wine to die for.

Rimini and Ravenna are the  two pearls  of the Italian Adriatic Riviera. Here the Piada is listed in the menu of many beach restaurants. That would be perfect for enjoying the sea breeze, and while enjoying life flowing by. Someone will serve you a piadina filled with small grilled fish and a good white wine as Trebbiano or a fresh dry Albana.
What are currently the best selling piadina and cassoni? Piada with parma ham, squacquerone and rocket, sausage and onion, or hazelnut chocolate spread. An other good option is cassone stuffed with tomato and mozzarella, or sausage and potatoes, as well the vegetarian one with vegetable. Buon Appetito!