If there’s one reason to visit Italy (besides its impressive history, fascinating culture and impeccable architecture), this is food. Pizza, pasta, risotto, cold cuts, gelato and so many other foods have graced our plates thanks to the wonderful Italian creativity and respect for traditions. Wherever you travel in Italy, you will be hard pressed to find food that is not delicious, but there are a few special locations where the food is just over the top and truly amazing. When it comes to culinary perfection one of those places is Modena.
If you know anything about Modena, you are already aware of the fact that food in Modena is exquisite. Anything you order will tickle your senses and strike your gourmet sensibilities, whether it’s ham, “tortellini in brodo”, or any other magnificent dish. So, precisely because Modena cuisine is that special, there are some specific dishes that you absolutely cannot miss while visiting Modena.
Tortellini or Tortelloni is a kind of pasta shaped like a ring and stuffed with beef, spinach and ricotta cheese or ham. Tortellini have gone beyond Modena cuisine and made their way into traditional Italian cuisine and even several other cuisines all over the world. They are usually served in a light chicken broth (this is typical from Modena, see picture below) or may also be served with a good tomato sauce. Anyone can now enjoy the tiny pasta also known as “Venus belly button”. Modena even has a festival in September dedicated to it : the Traditional Tortellino Festival.
Another delicacy Modena offers to international cuisine is balsamic vinegar, which is now widely used all across the globe by the fanciest chefs and all other gourmet foodies around the world. Not everyone knows that balsamic vinegar is obtained from cooking grape must and seasoning it in wooden barrels for long periods of time. Balsamic vinegar not only adds taste to food, but it also acts as a perfect digestive. To read more about balsamic vinegar go here. To shop high density all natural balsamic vinegar click link here
Parmesan (or Parmigiano-Reggiano, if you want to get technical) is actually originally made in the region of Modena. It’s quite a sizeable chunk of cheese with a taste that is both powerful and salty and which only gets better with time (just like wine), preferably after two years from making and seasoning. It is said to have been brought from France by monks in the Middle Ages and the religious fervor is still not lost on the dairymen who make it nowadays.
Famously originating from Modena, Zampone, and its “cousin” Cotechino di Modena appeared in the beginning of the 16th century out of the necessity to preserve meat. It is essentially a pig’s trotter that has been stuffed with a ground mix of pork chunks, as well as the outer skin, called cotenna. Condiments and spices can be added, such as nutmeg, cloves, pepper or cinnamon.
Prosciutto from Modena
Food in Modena is not always lean and low on calories, but it is always delicious. Modena prosciutto is a perfect example of this. Modena prosciutto is made out of pig thighs that are sliced very thin and seasoned with a top secret ingredient that remains undisclosed (it’s actually said to be the fresh mountain air from the Apennines) that ultimately gives this special meat product its distinct flavor.
We have to thank Modena for giving us Lambrusco wine. Either rosé or ruby, dry or semi-dry, this sparkling wine is elegant and delicious and it goes particularly well with meat or tortellini.
It is all of the above and much more that make Modena a veritable synonym for good food. Don’t miss out on any of the delicacies it has to offer and make sure to take the time to thoroughly savor every bite.
Buon Appetito !