Balsamic vinegar tour in Modena – EmiliaDelizia.com

Modena and the traditional balsamic vinegar produced here are truly Italian gems of uniqueness.

 

Romanesque cathedral
Cathedral of Modena

The Duomo di Modena is part of the Unesco world’s heritage and it is something really markable that you should not miss. It is almost 1000 years old and build only from scrap marbled derived from ancient Roman villas. The Duomo has been built according the Romanesque style by the masters of Campione D’Italia. The structure celebrates Modena’s patron and protector San Geminiano.

extra old balsamic vinegar
100 ml bottle of balsamic vinegar of Modena

Hidden in the family’s  home attics there is another treasure: Traditional Balsamic vinegar of Modena. Only made by the Modenese families in small batches and aged up to 25 years, it is a remarkable pearl in the Italian gastronomic tradition. It requires a set of barrels made of noble woods, Lambrusco grape juice and a lot of patience. Every year the producers have to painstakingly refill the barrels since some of the liquid is lost due to natural evaporation during the hot summers. However this allows to blend the flavours of the woods into the final product.

 

tasting of balsamic vinegar
trying the balsamic vinegar

The traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena has basically nothing to do with lower quality vinegar even when marketed as MODENA’S. During the tasting we will discover how to distinguish the black nectar from its numerous imitations. The tasting is aimed to develop an appreciation for the producer and learn how to match it with foods. Even though it is seen by many as an expensive and eccentric product it can be used on everyday’s foods. If used correctly a bottle will last for long time.

balsamic vinegar
The balsamic vinegar barrels

During Emilia Delizia’s Traditional Balsamic Vinegar tour we will learn how the fractional ageing works and each detail of the production will be explained to our guests. For those wishing to take home some of the product is now possible to purchase the 100 ml bottles directly from the producer at discounted prices. Some producers are also happy to send their products directly to your home and almost all accept all major credit cards.

Ghirlandina
The Ghirlandina tower of Modena

Even though Modena is small, it is a true concentration of history, architecture and food delicacies. If you want to truly sample the city we recommend to spend at least one night and a full day. Modena is also famous for Parmesan cheese, pasta like tortellini, Zampone and cotechino and there is an endless array of good restaurants in the city centre. Ranging from cheap eat to Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, Modena is set to please everyone in terms of food.

Canza Enzo Ferrari
Ferrari museum in central Modena

Modena is also the capital of motor sport, and super cars. The newly open Enzo Ferrari museums is an interesting hot spot for those fanatic about the Ferrari cars. The modern building offers themed and rotating car collections that express the soul Modena. It is also possible to catch a shuttle bus and visit the Maranello Ferrari museum without the need of hiring a car.

The Gourmet Region: Emilia Romagna

The Emilia Romagna, when looked on a map, has boundaries made in linear fashion, a sort of harness between the Po’ and the Apennines with the watershed that diverge slightly towards the bow of the Adriatic coast. Inside we have the two pillars that identify homogeneous parts for landscapes and traditionally run longitudinally through the Via Emilia.  It is in fact the Roman road, which separates the plain from the mountains. Roughly at the height of Imola  we have the historical border  which divided Emilia under the Roman control from  the sphere of influence of barbaric domination, in this case Romagna.

These are the elements that represent geographically and historically our cuisine, it is surprising because of the presence of so many aspects in one small relatively area.  In the same region we have the northern European ancestry. In fact it is one of the reality Emilian gastronomy mainly  based on the rearing of pigs and the use of animal fat. The region has also a Mediterranean tradition such as sheep farming and olive oil. In Romagna has an alternative to bread. The Piadina is a dumpling cooked on cast iron skillet, on also known as piada, and often eaten with ham, salami or soft cheeses. Probably eating flat breads has a Byzantine origin.

In Emilia we have  an astonishing line up of salumi, in Romagna on the other hand a pecorino cheese that acquires a unique flavour by ageing it in a pit. Emilia’s  cooking is rich and persuasive, in Romagna the flavours are a more vigorous and earthy. This is the results of centuries of history and also the differences have been diluted and new realities overlapped to create this modern geography of food.  Indeed such is the variety of products that you want to proceed in a systematic manner. It is worth to travel along the Via Emilia looking out the window with the curiosity of the connoisseur.

The first appointment is Piacenza: salamis in the Apennines (coppa, salami and pancetta) and fine wines, including red and sparkling Gutturnio. The cuisine has influlences from the nearby  Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria regions. Parma follows: the land of a great gastronomical heritage, just think of the Parmesan cheese, Parma ham and Culatello from Zibello with an aromatic Malvasia to be their frame. It is art. A culinary tradition that has caught on all over the world. Then it was the turn of Reggio Emilia, which is the cradle of the  Parmigiano Reggiano and the beginning of Lambrusco production area, a sparkling red wine, which is dear to many Italians. In Modena again salami and Zampone are the kings. On the hills, we have the  Lambrusco grasparossa and the famous Vignola’s cherries. The sharp end of the Emilian cuisine is in Bologna, where the pasta is in the form of tagliatelle, tortellini or lasagna, and the sauce is meaty and it accompanies pasta with dignity.

In the north of Bologna we find Ferrara, with the sumptuous salama da sugo and the wines of the Bosco Eliceo. The grapes are cultivated on the sands of the Po Delta.
By the time we get to  Castel San Pietro Romagna begins, mixing the flavours of the Apennines and the Adriatic sea. Ravenna, with the olive oil of Brisighella and the first vineyards of fine Albana wine.

Forli and Cesena, where component of the cuisine are mainly form the Apennines, with meat and game reminiscent of Tuscan cuisine, and finally Rimini, with plenty of tomato fish soup with strong vinegar and pepper flavours, opening the way to Central Italy, leading to the valleys of Montefeltro in Le Marche region.

In Emilia Romagna there are  13 designated gourmet routes that the tourist can follow, they are well designed and fully operational, The Enoteca Regionale di Dozza (BO) is the headquarters of the gourmet experience with a calendar full of events, from town festivals to street food fairs.

 

Planning a vacation in Emilia Romagna, Italy?

by Marcelo Pinto November 3rd 2012

A region such as Emilia Romagna can offer the discerning and demanding traveller a perfect vacation, not just something, but everything: art, culture, nature, history, leisure, wellness, relaxation, sea, mountains and good food.

Only a few other regions in Europe can boast all of this this: from the splendid city of art, dotted with monuments that trace back to ancient origins, small medieval villages clinging to the hills, The churches in the middle of green scenery, the myriad of castles imposing sumptuous amongst the green countryside.

It is not just for those seeking relaxation and tranquillity, there are dozens of places that offer health, beauty and activities. The Adriatic sea, equipped with beach resorts for the summer tourism catering for young people who are attracted to the vibrant night-life of the beach. The coast also has other jewels to offer, just think of the Regional Park of the Po’ Delta, one of the most important wetlands in Italy with unique flora and fauna and amazing scenery.

The hinterland and the Apennines, with miles of trails ideal for hiking or excursions into the woods, lakes and waterfalls, some are protected areas where nature is still intact. If that was not enough, the region boasts the best eno-gastronomic scenario, in fact one of the most sumptuous in the world: Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, Prosciutto di Modena, Culatello, Felino salami, Cotechino di Modena, all awarded the PDO and PGI. They are also accompanied by robust and sincere wines such as Lambrusco, Albana, Sangiovese. These are just some of the delicacies that made the Emilia Romagna the kingdom of taste and good food.

Last but not least, we are in the land of motor sports, home to the factories of famous brands that have made the history like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati. It is also where where major events are hosted at the Imola circuit in Misano Adriatico. Is this enough for a vacation?