20 December 2012

Bologna 101; Italian food + Tours

{ Fresh Egg Pasta freshly made }

Not being ready just yet to let go of travel inspired posts I have an extra special post for you today my gorgeous readers! Do you remember the time in Italy that Morgs & I did our very own food tour of Bologna? I had shared our take on this gorgeous Italian town and the fact that the best food Morgs & I tasted in Italy came from Bologna. There was some big non negotiable's for us both when travelling and eating & drinking our way around Italy was high on that list. We were so lucky to end up following our noses and stomachs to Bologna as it turned in to our yummiest and one of the most random/adventure packed days from our 3 weeks in Italy. It was such a lovely surprise when Gabriele from the website Emilia Delizia contacted me after reading my post on our food tour in Bologna! I asked her to do a special post for you guys on her personal take on 'What to eat & drink in Bologna' which I am sharing with you today...

If we had of found this website when we were in Italy there is no doubt we would have been one happy traveler - I can't encourage a bookmark of this website if you are ever heading to Italy as it will make tour booking so much easier. Hopefully you guys enjoy learning about traditional Italian food as much as I did from her piece.

So Gabriele take it away!

"What to eat & drink in Bologna"

This short guide provided by emiliadelizia.com about eating out in Bologna will help your readers to choose food and drink while they are in Bologna. This town is called the fat because of its opulence in the cooking department. Dishes tend to be quite elaborate, rich and decadent. In Bologna you will drink red sparkling wines and you will eat "English soup" as dessert!

Fresh Egg Pasta

Bologna has no durum semolina pasta in its tradition, all the pasta you will find here is made fresh from soft from wheat and eggs as a protein binder. The results come in many shapes from the simple Tagliatelle, to more elaborate Lasagne, Tortelloni and tortellini. Tagliatelle are served with ragu' which is a meaty sauce resembling more to a stew than a pasta sauce. Certainly you can also find the famous pasta strips topped with porcini mushrooms or a Parmesan cream with truffles, possibly from the nearby town of Savigno. 


On the other hand Tortelloni have a more elaborate hat shape and they are stuffed with ricotta and herbs, the condiment could be just tomato sauce and basil or butter and sage. The king of the Winter months is the Tortellino. These smaller versions of the hat shape are best served in their capon broth with a rich sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. You should look for restaurants or delis which serve hand made Tortellini to really fulfill this experience.

Bread, bread and more bread.

Italy probably will make you forget about your carb free diet for awhile, as you might know it is all about eating wheat products such as bread, pasta, foccacia, pizza and so on. Bologna is no different but there are some special breads that are worth a mention (and for you to try!)

For example, Crescentine are small round breads that in the good old days were cooked between clay disks (tigelle) near an open fire. These small breads were originally the staple of the poor farmers on the Bologna hills. They are still very popular today and they are cut in 2 halves and served like a modern sandwich with cured meats like; Prosciutto di parma, Mortadella di Bologna, Coppa, Salami, Culatello and the list goes on!

{Crescentine bread}

Piadina is another example local bread and it is a street food and you can easily sample in Bologna. Originally from the Eastern part of the region namely Romagna. Piadina is a flat bread traditionally prepared with pork clarified lard and cooked on a cast iron pan. The lard will give a nice fragrance to the bread that it is going to be served with squaquerone cheese and cabbage if you follow the farmer tradition, but today you can top it with anything you like. 

Wine drinking in Bologna

Bologna when it comes to wine is very eclectic. On the Eastern hills we have Sangiovese wines which are made with homonymous grapes. Sangiovese is a full bodied red wine and when aged it has a lot of pleasant structure with hints of rustic charm. On the Western part of Bologna you will find Pignoletto, a white and sparkling wine which is served young, soon after the harvest. We also find Lambrusco, a unique red sparkling wine which is also served young and in Summer is best served chilled. All of these wines are just perfect with the local cuisine. 

Dessert

No meal is complete without a dessert! In Bologna you will have plenty of choices but one stands out more than the other; Zuppa Inglese, which translates in to English Soup. It is in fact a trifle mimicking the famous English trifles but with local Bolognese ingedients. It has a base of savoiardi biscuits soaked in liqueur and topped off with egg and chocolate custards.
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If your headed to Italy soon or know of any family that are send them to emiliadelizia.com - Morgs & I looked in to a lot of food and wine tours when we were over there but didn't find any that were perfectly suited to us, but if we had of found emiliadelizia it would have been a different story.

Now...who feels like some pasta?

Yours with dreams of red wine & pasta in Italy,

Anna xx





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  8. thanks for this food tour Anna! Bologna is known fot its wonderful cuisine but I never really thought of going there untill now. silly me we hv several cheap flights with Ryanair from Malta to Bologa so I will definitely consider it as a short food-fuelled holiday :)

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