Located in the north of Italy, Emilia Romagna is an area filled with history since the very ancient times, as revealed from archaeological findings. The region was first occupied in the 6th century BC by the Etruscans. It was then invaded by the Celts in the 4th century, then was conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century and began a legacy of Ancient Rome.
The region has nine provinces, Bologna, Ferrara, Forli-Cesena, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia and Rimini. More than nearly half of the region consists of plains while the rest is quite hilly and mountainous. In contrast Emilia Romagna offers diversity between the mountains and the sea, due to the Adriatic Sea it has on its coastline.
Explore a region which is perfect for those who might love either the mountains or the sea. The beauty of both the eyes and spirit is breathtaking for all those who visit, with a mixture of the earthy colours and the aromas of fresh air.
Emilia Romagna is known for courses which are rich and complex, pasta dishes like tortellini, lasagne and tagliatelle are notable in Bologna which is also found in many other parts of the region. Many consider the region for its bold and refined cuisine. The famous tortellini, stuffed with pork meat, ham and parmigiano cheese, and the tigella, a flatbread cooked in a wood oven and served with the famous salames and a mix of cheeses, are both even better if paired with a Lambrusco wine.
Seafood, poultry and meats make up the second course of a meal, with chicken being the most popular meat. Along the Adriatic coast, in Romagna, seafood appears frequently in dishes such as clams with balsamic.
Modena and Parma are renowned for its gastronomic contribution to Italy and all over the world. Many have received DOP recognition, including the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – a hard cheese with a strong flavour and grainy texture that is also produced in Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and some parts of Bologna.
While the true origin of balsamic vinegar remain unknown, it is believed that Italians have been enjoying this condiment for more than 1000 years. Modena is the home of DOP quality recognised traditional balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is liquid from the pressings of grape boiled down to reduce into a dark syrup.
Native to Modena is Trebbiano which is the most widely plated white grape in Italy and is traditionally used in balsamic vinegar production, picked from the vines a late as possible. Families who lived in the small villages of Modena would produce balsamic vinegar and offer it to their family and friends – fathers would also include the aged vinegar as part of their daughter’s wedding gift.
Today balsamic vinegar is overseen by the Consortium of Producers of Balsamic Vinegar. Genuine artisan produced balsamic vinegar is given the Italian government quality assurance label, DOC. In order to classify for this label according to tradition, high quality balsamic vinegars are aged for a minimum of 12 years. The longer the aging process the more valuable the balsamic vinegar becomes. There is a strong emphasis on the entire process including the grape varieties and the type of wood in the barrels must also follow strict standards.
Parma is one of Italy’s most emblematic provinces, extending out to the Po River in the north , down to the Apennines crest separating it from Tuscany. Cuisine is the forte of the entire province of Parma, with its best products found here, including Parma ham (prosciutto) and salames, Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese) and the cooked shoulder ham of San Secondo. San Nicola is nestled in a small Parma town called Corniglio, less than 20 kilometres from the Tuscan border. Far removed from the developed areas, it was seen by the company as a ideal spot to make prosciutto due to its excellent air quality – a necessity for prosciutto’s extended ageing method. Made from top quality Italian pork, without the addition of any chemicals or preservatives, San Nicola prosciutto is completely natural. It is made of just two ingredients – meat and sea salt. Most of the sea salt is derived from Sicily.
With such a diverse landscape and so much to see, do and eat, there is something for everyone who visits Emilia-Romania. Whether you are looking to indulge in the region’s delicious produce or experience a taste of its history.
Click here to view our products from Emilia Romagna.