Emilia-Romagna never misses a chance to tantalise visitors’ taste buds. It is no coincidence, then, that the region holds a record when it comes to food and wine: to date, as many as 44 local products have been recognised as PDO or PGI, the highest number in Italy, in addition to a plethora of certified wines and traditional recipes, that have become well-known and reproduced around the world.
This is what guarantees the quality and flavour of our cuisine; qualities that turn every dish into a symphony of aromas. But Emilia-Romagna has even more to offer: the region is home to 24 Musei del Gusto [taste museums] that pay tribute to local, traditional products which, like time machines, take you on a journey through the history of the traditions, techniques and communities behind these products, whose origins often lie in some distance past.
These food and flavour destinations include Casa Artusi in Forlimpopoli, which celebrates the father of home-style Italian cooking, the Enoteca Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna wine-makers association, a paradise for wine lovers, boasting more than 1,000 labels on display and FICO Eataly World, the largest food park in the world.
This food and flavour journey will also take you to other places where you can get up close and personal with the real soul of Emilia-Romagna's cuisine. These destinations include the dairies that make Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in Parma and Reggio Emilia, where you can see for yourself how this exquisite mature cheese is made on a guided tour.
As one of the Unesco's creative cities for gastronomy, Parma's salumifici [salami makers] also open their doors to visitors to reveal the best-kept secrets behind their renowned cold cuts. As you head southwards down Via Emilia, you will soon enter the kingdom of balsamic vinegar: the area around Reggio Emilia and Modena is peppered with vinegar factories that are open to the public, where you can learn all about the lengthy, complex process that goes into making this speciality, exclusively from Emilia.
Another trip to make is to the Manifattura dei Marinati in Comacchio, the marinating plant. This is a great opportunity to explore the Eel Museum and to learn about the close ties that link the town of Comacchio with the local fish that inhabit the coastline. If you're looking instead to sample street food at the traditional chioschi [food kiosks] on the Emilia-Romagna Riviera, make your way to Rimini.
These are just some of the food and flavour destinations to explore in Emilia-Romagna, the invaluable heritage of a land that has always made good food a reason for being.