The Emilia region of Italy has long been considered the country’s gastronomic epicenter. Similar to the position Lyons occupies in French gastronomes’ hearts, Bologna is said to be Italy’s gastronomic capital. Given that such universally recognizable names like Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano hail from the region, to say nothing of Modena’s Balsamico and that most classic of meat sauces, Bolognese, Emilia’s reputation comes naturally.
|Bologna is called "La Grassa" |
meaning "Plump" or 'Prosperous"
The last time Andrew and I were in Italy, we hurtled through Emilia on our way from Venice to Tuscany. Having gotten a late start, our plans to stop in Bologna for lunch were dashed. Due to the brilliance of Italy’s Autostradas which skirt the city centers, we never even laid eyes on the place. I’d been there as a student but on a student’s budget I have no recall of the gastronomy. In fact the only the thing I remember at all was that Bologna had a Communist mayor which, in those pre-cold war days, pretty much scared us red-blooded North Americans off the place.