This year has been an amazing year for travelling, with visits to Italy and America to see two of my sisters who have made these two very contrasting countries their homes. Of course, aside from family, one of the best things about travelling is the food and both occasions presented me with a chance to indulge and explore in some very memorable traditional and modern dishes. One of the simplest meals that we enjoyed in Italy in a local ‘Osteria’ involved a bottle of red wine, bread, some locally produced salami, chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and honey, which I’ve enjoyed re-creating many times myself at home.
We also ate plenty of home cooked meals, including pasta with prawns and courgette or zucchini (and plenty of garlic) as well as dining out in modest ‘trattorias’ where we devoured even more home cooked pasta and ‘risotti’ – always graced with perfectly matured Parmigiano-Reggiano. We traveled over 100km to find a renowned pasta shop in the capital of Emilia-Romagna, Bologna called Paolo Atti & Figli and I found myself in paradise taking in all the food markets around the very charismatic cobbled streets. How I wish I had the room in my suitcase to carry home some of the produce that we found – and didn’t eat!
You might also remember that I wrote about attending a Discover the Origin event back in March. There was so much to soak up during the event, including plenty of Tawny Port (!) and I really relished the opportunity of speaking to some of the hugely passionate ambassadors behind the products which form the Discover the Origin campaign, including Bourgogne Wines, Duoro Wines, Port, Parma Ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano – also known by its French name of Parmesan. I’m very exited to have been invited to attend a press trip early next year, hopefully to the Duoro wine region in Portugal and the next time I visit my sister in Italy, I’m going to make sure I save some time for a tour of the area that includes Parma, Reggiano Emilia, Modena and Bologna – on the western bank of Reno River – which is where Parmigiano-Reggiano is exclusively produced.
In the meantime, I also have a short video to share with you that has been produced by Discover the Origin campaign, all about the provenance of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which is about to form part of a much wider campaign highlighting the unique and varying characteristics of the cheese, including the diversity in ages and tastes.
With thanks to Discover the Origin for asking me to share this video. This post will be incorporated into an advertising campaign due to run for the next two weeks.