Food of Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna is considered the culinary capital of Italy but it's also well renowned for its product authenticity many of which have received the IGP and DOP seals.
The IGP seal (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) - Protected Geographical Information. At least one production and/or processing phase must take place in the designated origin of production for the product to qualify.
DOP (Denominazione d'Origine Protetta) - Protected Designation of Origin. Each step in the production process must be executed in the region of origin.
Prosciutto di Parma DOP
There are only two ingredients involved in the production of Prosciutto di Parma, a leg of pork with nothing but sea salt. This increases the tenderness of the meat, and gives it a characteristic sweet flavour. The similarity between present-day Parma Ham and its “ancestor” is evident and nowadays the tradition of Parma Ham is as strong as ever.
Parmigiano Reggiano DOPParmiggiano Reggiano is named after the producing areas Parma and Reggio Emilia although other cities in the Emilia-Romagna region have production rights. The quality of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP is based on the balance of many factors, including the quality of the the milk, the artisanal production methods which have remained unchanged for 7 centuries, the natural ageing process and the complete absence of preservatives. The Parmiggiano we use at Ponti's Italian Kitchen is aged at 24 months and produced by a family run artisanal producer in the Parma area.
Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP
Modena is also well known in culinary circles as the origin of another Emilia-Romagna culinary masterpiece: the coveted Balsamic vinegar of Modena, which has been produced since Roman times under strict quality standards of highly government-regulated methods in which it is aged up to 50 years in wooden barrels. We have our own specially selected Balsamico to buy in our restaurants for only £8 per bottle.
Emilia-Romagna lies between the River Po and the Apennine Mountains. It is dominated, geographically, by this great river, which is largely responsible for the rich microclimate and flourishing flora. It is one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy, thanks to the mitigating effect that the Adriatic sea has on the coastal climate. The diversity between the mountains and sea offers visitors breathtaking scenery, with a mixture of the earthy colours, aromas and fresh sea air.
It is widely regarded as the culinary capital of Italy with the most well known Italian products and recipes hailing from this prosperous region. Prociutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggianno and Spaghetti Bolognese are just a few of its star products.
Emilia-Romagna is the Italy you see in the movies, where old men sit at outdoor tables talking about anything and everything and where locals yell Ciao and Grazie on a regular basis. It's where Mamma and Nonna still make pasta by hand and its rich history and a food culture is second to none.
The main cities in Emilia-Romagna are all located on Via Emilia, an ancient Roman road. Each city is unique, but they are all rich in history and beauty.
Bologna, the capital of the region, was founded by the Etruscans and is home to the oldest University in the world.
Ravenna is a Byzantine jewel and home to many imperial artistic treasures.
Ferrara was the capital of the dukedom of Este, and the city's history is reflected in its splendid palaces.
Modena is known for its incredible Romanesque architecture, including the Torre del Ghirlandina, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Modena.
Reggio Emilia is the birthplace of the Italian National flag.
Parma is an elegant city where Dutchess Maria Luigia from Austria held her court.
Finally there's Piacenza, which is considered the territorial and historical border between Emilia and Lombardy.