As I´ve already mentioned in my Bologna post, this city is Italy´s food capital*; and probably gives all foodies a glimpse of what their heaven could look like. It lays in the Emilia-Romagna region which is home to many world-renowned products that we all love. Some of them are from Bologna, others from other places; nevertheless, you can try them all in this wonderful city. It is not called La Grassa (or The Fat) for nothing!
There are so many sensational dishes that one could spend a week or two just trying them all and probably would still be missing some of them. That’s why I decided to make a short list of the Must-Eats and Must-Drinks of Bologna. Here it goes:
- Mortadella – the first thing mentioned in any Bologna guide. It’s a delicate pink ham with white spots of fat throughout. I can assure you, it’s better than what you’ve tried before.
- Ragú – this is the name for the Bolognese sauce you are craving to try. It wouldn’t make sense to call it Bolognese in Bologna anyway, would it?
- Prosciutto Crudo di Parma – probably one of the most well-known Italian foods. It’s a raw ham that has been cured with salt and aged at least a year. Personally, I prefer it over mortadella and ate more of it than I’d like to confess.
- Parmigiano Reggiano – believe it or not, the King of Cheese was born here! This is a fact you get to know latest waiting for your luggage at the Bologna airport. It’s salty, crumbly and it makes every pasta taste even better.
- Balsamico di Modena – this smooth balsamic vinegar is, just like mortadella, way more exquisite than you may think. Outside of Italy, it’s very common to use what is rather its cheap imitation. Here, you can experience the real, rich taste that will amaze your taste buds. Honestly, I could eat it just with some olive oil and nice fresh bread all day long.
- Stuffed pasta – tortellini, tortelloni, tortellacci… You name it. The sizes and fillings vary, so just taste your way through this pasta Paradise. I’ve tried some with pumpkin and ricotta and it was definitely one of the best dishes I’ve ever had.
- Lasagna – another Italian classic that is said to be the best here. Don’t miss it!
- Aperitivo – it’s common to enjoy a drink and a buffet of appetizers at around 6 pm; it is a nice way to relax after work, socialize and nibble on something before dinner. All for the price of the drink of your choice! This already amazing concept has evolved with time and since a couple of years many bars offer Apericena – a combination of Aperitivo and dinner. Very popular especially among the students, it has a fixed price (a couple of euros) and a buffet that includes hot and cold dishes.
- Spritz – a classic cocktail made of Aperol, prosecco and soda water. It’s tasty, beautiful and easy to drink.
- Wine, wine, wine – the Emilia-Romagna region produces 15 % of Italian wine, so take every opportunity you can to taste it. Here you can find a comprehensive list of all the wines you should try.
*or at least one of the food capitals of Italy – the country where everybody can find a dish he absolutely loves.