Modena is the new destination to Eat Local.
An increasing number of foodies and food lovers from all over the world arrive in Modena to live the unique culinary and sensory experience offered by OSTERIA FRANCESCANA run by famous Chef Massimo Bottura, who has ranked first in the contest “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” for two years.
We should all thank the Modenese chef for his authentic passion and gastronomic culture. In fact, he has brought the real Parmesan cheese, PDO-certified Parmigiano Reggiano, and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena to the world, thus making them famous as they deserve to be. They are products of excellence, grown and made in the Emilia region, a land made of hard workers. A land where people care about their traditions and love telling their stories to pass them on from generation to generation. A land that has proved to be naturally talented for farming, and food and wine tourism, like the entire Emilia-Romagna region.
Modena means to “Eat Local”above all. The town still preserves a strong local identity, where visitors can taste a variety of typical gastronomic dishes among street food and traditional food stores, with a tiny historical centre where one can really sense Modena’s people and spirit.
Let’s start our virtual tour from the historical covered food market Mercato Albinelli. It is only a few steps from the Ghirlandina bell-tower and the Cathedral, the symbol of the city, and it the soul of local food. Here is where local “rezdore” housewifes do the shop. Here is where one can look at the many stands of fruit, vegetables and delis with egg pasta, and enjoy for example “Tortellino da passeggio” – the tortellini pasta version designed to eat while walking at “Je Suis Marisa”.
Pasta makers – locally known as “sfogline”- are a unique resource of our region. They make pasta by the rolling pin, traditionally, and preserve a great culinary heritage that otherwise we would lose.
They make traditional egg pasta such as Tagliatelle, Rosette, Tortellini, Tortelloni, Lasagne, Stricchetti, to mention the most popular local pasta sizes.
Their extraordinary value has always been clear to chef Massimo Bottura. So much so, in 2019 he founded “Il Tortellante” a virtuous case in the world of Non-profit Associations that joins the dedicated attitude of autistic young people from Onlus AUT AUT association and the passion of pasta makers in a great solidarity project. Together they make pasta. Together they lovingly and passionately make tortellini. They share their time to create homemade food.
We think it is such a clever and moving way to teach and share the values of our land, to build, convey and tell people about the gastronomic treasures of the Emilia Romagna region.
Eat local does not only mean egg pasta, but also Amaretti di Modena, almond cookies artisanally produced in the area of Modena, particularly in the small Medieval village of Spilamberto that hosts the Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.
In fact, we cannot talk about Modena’s finest food culture without mentioning Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. This is the real love of the Modenese people. It is not just vinegar, it is a tradition, it is a cooking ingredient that requires at least 12 years to age in wooden barrels, being transferred and refilled several times in barrels of different wood and size to gain its extraordinary and distinguished flavor. It is really a kind of surprise to taste it, because one would not really expect that it is very far from the idea of a normal salad-dressing vinegar. It has a balanced flavor, not too sweet, not too acid, and it is balsamic. It is perfect on artisanal Gelato. It represents local farmer families who used it as a cure-all ingredient. In our food tours around Bologna and Modena, we always take our guests to family-run Vinegary places who have special stories to tell…
If we say “Eat Local”,we should also say “Drink Local”.
“Emilia” is an area where semi-sparkling wines are traditionally produced, white like Pignoletto made on the Hills of Bologna, red like Lambrusco produced in Modena area. Grasparossa, Salamino, and Sorbara are the most popular grape varieties of Lambrusco, a wine that is easy to drink but very high-quality. In the past, it was produced on a very large scale and sold as an inexpensive and low-quality wine. Now, it is regaining the value it deserves, because many small artisanal winemakers are doing a lot of work to make it an excellent wine, either in the flat land of Modena or on the beautiful hills of Castelvetro.
Have you ever been to Castelvetro, Levizzano, Castelnuovo, or Vignola? They are stunning Medieval villages. They are hilly areas, dominated by stunning castles surrounded by vineyards, cherries, crops of wheat, alfa-alfa, and sunflowers. Genuine places like the food that one can taste here like a local: Gnocco Fritto, Tigelle, and Borlenghi, the street food of the Po Valley and the Modenese Apennine mountains…
Would you like to find out more? We will be glad to accompany you in our Walking Food Tour in the historical centre of Modena or to organize a private food and wine tour to discover the world of Parmesan cheese, Prosciutto, Culatello, Balsamic Vinegar, Lambrusco and Pignoletto wines. Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org