Italian Cuisine: Emilia-Romagna

So what is one to do when they tackle a subject that is much larger than the boundaries that one has imposed upon a topic?

One expands the boundaries.

I have that exact problem when it comes to the next region of Italy that I want to cover: Emilia-Romagna.

There are areas on this planet that have had an exceptional amount of influence upon the cuisines of the world. Emilia-Romagna is one of those places.

Some of the best salamis in the world come from this area of Italy.Culatello is from the area, as is zampone. But the wonders of wonders called prosciutto is the reigning king of cured meats in my own modest opinion. If you’ve never had prosciutto, if you’ve never bitten into a ham cured so gently that there’s an underlying sweetness that makes your heart zing with pleasure, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Even the Wonder Bread of Deli meats (Baloney) has it’s roots in this region. Mortadella originated in Bologna, and is made with ground heat-cured pork sausage with lard pieces, then flavored with garlic and anise seed. America’s baloney is Mortadella’s twin.

Speaking of Balogna, they have their meat sauce that everyone is so familiar with. This meat sauce can be used on most pasta, but I think it’s best used in Lasagne alla Bolognese that uses the meat ragu as well as only Parmigiano Reggiano (also from the Emilia-Romagna region).

This is the region that brings us, not only Parmesan Cheese, but balsamic vinegar as well. Heck, they even have a festival in Emilia-Romagna that’s dedicated to the Nutella product. Let’s not even discuss the tomatoes grown in this area…I’ll get information overload.

So what to do when there’s too much to cover? If you’re me, than you simply write until you think you’ve discussed the topic enough to understand the basics. With Emilia-Romagna, the basics can cover an entire book.

This should be fun.


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