Food and Wine
Reggio Emilia is home to several pearls of Italian cuisine: from DOP Parmigiano Reggiano to Dop traditional balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia, from DOC wines like famous Lambrusco to the local salami, from erbazzone (a vegetable pie with a beet and spinach fi lling) to gnocco fritto (fried dough served steaming hot with salame, prosciutto, coppa...) down to liqueurs made from fruit or herbs steeped in alcohol, like nocino, a popular walnut liqueur.
Starting with, HRM Parmigiano Reggiano, the world-famous king of cheeses, probably invented by Benedectine monks. 1 kg of Parmigiano is the product of 16 kg of milk – but it only takes 40 minutes to digest 100 g of this cheese, whereas the same quantity of beef would be digested in about 3 1⁄2 hours.
The other main speciality is balsamic vinegar, but be careful here - traditional balsamic vinegar (aceto balsamico tradizionale) is very different from the more ordinary aceto balsamico. The traditional product is aged for 12 years at the very least and up to as many as 50 years, like the best wines, whereas its more commercial cousin matures in a single month. This is what makes traditional balsamic vinegar so thick and almost sweet, a precious essence to be savoured by the drop on every kind of food, including fruit or ice-cream. It is, however, virtually impossible to fi nd real aceto balsamico tradizionale in supermarkets: better plan a visit to a vinegar cellar (acetaia) along one of the two local Food and wine trails.