Less than a month after starting my masters in the only Slow-Food University in the world, I decided to take a spontaneous weekend trip to Bologna with some of peers. Bare to say, we had just met each other, the only thing we knew for sure about each other, was that we wanted to attend a massive Slow-Wine fair.
And so we did...
One of the most brilliant minds and purest souls I met this past year, Mr. Alessio Follini, offered his car to take us there, and him being Italian, gave us the full Gastronomic tour from Bra, all the way to Bologna.
We had a mandatory stop in the infamous Autogrill, for some coffee. This was the day I learned cappuccinos were not allowed after noon in Italy, and so I had to drink it as a shot of espresso (not my thing).
We arrived in Parma, known as the Italian food valley, where he had to have some Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano. I must say, this crispy polenta with freshly cut prosciutto was heaven on earth. We went to Salumeria Garibaldi, but the options are endless, and they are all good. Just go into any little Salumeria, pick your lunch and enjoy it in Parma's main square.
Once we arrived in Bologna, I feel in love with the city, the streets, the people, the colors, the history, the markets, and of course, all the food. Bologna is part of the region of Emilia Romagna, known for being one of the richest regions in terms of gastronomy and wine-making traditions of Italy.
If you ever make it here you need to try these local hits and traditional dishes:
⭐️ Start your morning in Forno Brisa, a bakery offering the highest quality bread, pastries, chocolates, and coffe. They are rebels with a good cause, looking to show their costumers the importance of local and high quality ingredients for delicious and nutritious goods.
- The day we went was the morning before the wine fair, and the morning after a crazy concert night, so a couple of their pizzas did the trick. We had to get one with slices of Mortadella, a product originated from Bologna, and onions glazed with Balsamic, a product originated from Modena (a town located 1 hour away from Bologna).
⭐️ For lunch, go to Osteria Dellorsa and have the staple Tagliatelle con Ragù Bolognese, one of the best known and famous recipes in the world. Just as the iconic italian dish name says it, Bolognese sauce is from Bologna, and was baptized by Pellegrino Artusi in 1891 when wrote his book “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well”. Although the recipe back then included macaroni as a pasta, and the sauce did not include tomatoes (because they were not locally sourced in Italy back then), the final recipe happens in the early twentieth century. Introducing the perfect pasta shape in length and thickness, the Tagliatelle .
Did you know that the recipe for the classic “Bolognese Ragù” is patented by the Bologna Chamber of Commerce since 1982?
⭐️ For dinner, head to 051 for their Tagliere Misto and Tigelle. Tagliere, which literally translates "cutting board", refers also to a board topped with local cold cuts, like Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella di Bologa, cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano, pickled vegetables, sauces, and the staple balsamic vinegar of Modena. Tigelle is a round, steamed, and crispy bread, traditional from Modena and the whole Emilia Romagna region, that is cut in half (like a pita or an arepa), and stuffed with all the tagliere misto.
Have you ever been to Bologna? What was your favorite thing about it?
If you ever decide to visit, I might be there! Just let me know below.