Italy is well-known around the world for its delicious food. But maybe you didn’t know that for food lovers, Bologna is a must Italian destination! For something the city has three popular nicknames: “la dotta” (which means the educated), “la rossa” (meaning the red, referring to the color of its roofs) and “la grassa” (as the fat one, because of the delicious culinary tradition that this city offers).
Bologna is home to several traditional foods such as the beloved tortellini or mortadella as well as lasagne. When in Bologna, taking a food tour is the best way to explore the regional and local cuisine of Bologna. Their several food tours you can take around the city. This article will introduce three food tours where you’ll be able to visit food factories and not only taste the food but also see with your own eyes the entire production process until it arrives on the table of consumers.
Let’s dive in!
Visiting a Parmesan Cheese Production Factory
Ok, Parmesan (or Parmigiano in Italian) seems to be pretty much in every traditional meal in Bologna. Let’s be honest who doesn’t love Parmesan? (Or cheese in general, but this is another story…)
The home of Parmigiano Reggiano, however, is not Bologna but, as the name suggests, it is Parma. You can easily join a food tour to Parma from Bologna and you’ll be able to add a unique experience to your trip.
You’ll arrive at a factory where the cheese is made from raw milk and then molded into the characteristic “wheels”. Learning how the delicious Parmigiano arrives on our table is fascinating and you’ll be able to taste different types of aged Parmesan cheese and try to identify the difference during the tour. The tour will also make you appreciate the value of the “original” Parmigiano Reggiano against the many imitators around the world.
Discovering How Balsamic Vinegar is Traditionally Produced
Balsamic Vinegar (or Aceto Balsamico in Italian) is native of Modena, a city that can be easily reached from Bologna. The “real” and traditional DOP balsamic vinegar (DOP stands for “of protected origin) can only be produced in private houses in Modena. During the food tour, you’ll learn and recognize the big difference between traditional balsamic vinegar and the industrial version of it. The vinegar itself is made from grape juice but it is a lengthy process that takes at least 12 years to age. The food tour is a fantastic exploration in the details of this traditional method of production. Tastings are included, and if you’re interested in purchasing some products, you’ll be able to receive bargain prices for most of the traditional balsamic vinegar qualities.
Learning How Mortadella, Parma Ham and San Daniele’s Ham are Produced
Bologna is famous and proud of its Mortadella. But once you’re there why not learn about how the famous Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham) and Prosciutto San Daniele are produced? They all come from the same region and by joining a food tour, you’ll be able to discover the secrets of the production of all three types of ham. During the tour, you’ll visit the “MUSA”, the first charcuterie museum in Italy. The museum is located in Modena, but the price of the tour includes transportation from Bologna to the museum. You’ll not only discover the long history of cured meat, the tools, and techniques used to produce them and the traditional uses but also will be able to taste a variety of them. The visit offers a very complete understanding of the production of different types of cured meats and the various steps needed to come to the final process.
You’ll learn how technique and precision are essential even in the food industry and what makes Italian cured meats so special and unique.
So here you are, three types of food tours you can join as a day-tour from the city of Bologna. Could you ask for more? Learn about regional products, their taste, their production methods and appreciate their taste even more thanks to amazing tastings that are designed to enhance the flavors of some of the regional foods that make Italy so important in the food industry. What are you waiting for? Get your taste buds ready, it will be a fantastic experience!