Creating Food Memories in Bologna

Polpette (meatballs) sizzling in the pan (Credit: Jerome Levine)

Any traveler who is passionate about good food wants to visit Bologna. And once they’ve been there, they want to share the experience with their closest friends. 

The rich gastronomic traditions of the region’s capital city have been shaped by its unique location and history. Geographically, the capital city of Emilia Romagna is nestled in the heart of the region of Italy often called the “Food Valley.” Most of the foods and wines sold and consumed here are sourced from family-owned farms and vineyards, as well as other small-batch producers that dot the verdant hillsides.

Unusual quiet of Piazza Maggiore in morning
Unusual quiet of the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna in early morning

This foodie paradise also boasts 44 products recognized by the European Union as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication). Like fine wines, their names are associated with the areas where they’ve been produced for generations using the same ancient methods and techniques. A few notable examples include Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale and Lambrusco. 

We were fortunate to be able to share a hands-on cooking experience with Chef Stefano Corvucci and our friends at the Culinary Institute of Bologna (CIBO). Our food enthusiast adventure began with a shopping trip to the old market in the historic center of the city (called the Quadrilateral) that has been there since the Middle Ages.

First stop: The butcher shop in the Quadrilateral (Credit: Jerome Levine))
First stop: The butcher shop in the Quadrilateral (Credit: Jerome Levine)
Polpette (meatballs) sizzling in the pan (Credit: Jerome Levine)
Polpette (meatballs) sizzling in the pan (Credit: Jerome Levine)

Then we spent several hours mastering traditional cooking techniques in the spacious, contemporary demonstration kitchen where the Chef conducts classes in the back of a historic trattoria.

You can read the entire story of our adventure in my article entitled, Cooking in Bologna: A Recipe for Food, Fun, and Friendship, in Food Wine Travel, the magazine of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writer’s Association.

If you have any interest in visiting Bologna, you may want to take a peek at some other posts I’ve written in the past about this irresistible city nestled in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy:

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