Italian Days Food Experience in Modena, Italy

Author: , September 20th, 2014

Italy Food Tour - Dolly GoolsbyWow. What a day we had! We had arranged to do a tour again, with Alessandro, owner and creator of Italian Days Food Experience. (http://www.timesofitaly.com)

Susan and I had done this tour last year, and I thought, correctly, that my travel group would enjoy the experience. All the products we got to see and taste, the cheese, the balsamico, and the prosciutto, are certified DOP, which means that they are made according to the regulations of the consortium that makes sure all the steps are followed, from the feeding and care of the cows that produce the milk for the cheese, the grapes and aging process of the balsamico, and the food fed to the pigs that become prosciutto as well as that aging process. It is a very exacting process for each step for each product, but that DOP seal means that one can be sure of the high standard and quality of those foods.

We were picked up at our hotel in Bologna, by our driver, Raphaello, at 0700 this morning. We drove from Bologna to Modena, to a Parmigiano- Reggiano factory, where we were witness to the birth of a new batch of this wonderful cheese.

The milk cooks in one of 10 copper vats, the beginning of the year-long process of becoming true Parmigiano -Reggiano cheese (DOP). This is the certification of the Consortium that regulates the production of the cheese. Alessandro explained the process to us, then we walked through the factory, viewing cheeses in various stages of aging. By law, the cheeses are aged for a minimum of one year.

After the cheese tasting, we went to a balsamico factory. This factory has some of the best balsamico I have ever tasted. The one called balsamico condimento is aged at least 6 years, then there are two other ones that are aged a minimum of 12 and 25 years, respectively. The making of that wonderful balsamico is so different from the kind of balsamico we get in the United States. But of course, it is very expensive, too, so we just enjoyed the tastings. Wonderful on gelato and ricotta.

Balsamico ages in little barrels. Balsamico is also regulated by a consortium, so the final product will have a seal that verifies it has met the standards and is certified DOP.

Then we were off to the prosciutto factory. Again, Alessandro explained the curing and aging process to us. Prosciutto of Modena is also a DOP product. The entire process is regulated by that consortium.

Of course we got to taste the finished product there, also, accompanied by bread sticks and more Lambrusco wine. This wine, by the way, is not the Lambrusco you might remember from the 1960’s, in the United States. This wine is really good.

Then we went to lunch! We were taken to an organic farm/winery, called Corte d’Aibo, which is now also an agroturisimo. ( http://www.cortedaibo.it). So one could go stay there for a vacation, help out with the farming and enjoy their wonderful food every day of vacation. Sounds good to me!

Finally, we made our way back to Bologna, with the expert driving of Raphaello. We got back to the hotel at 4:30 p.m. We had had a long, wonderful day.

So tonight, in Bologna, we did not feel like eating or drinking anything, except water. Some of us took a long walk through town this evening, but primarily we just had to rest up after the long day of eating and drinking. What a great life we have!

Tomorrow we go to Cinque Terre. More adventures are waiting for us, I do believe. So I will say, Ciao for now, and catch up with you again when we are on the Ligurian coast.

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Emilia Romagna Gay Travel Resources