Modena is the province richest in PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products and is synonymous with fine food the world over. Its long standing status as a food capital is due to its commitment to authenticity, its regard for tradition and guardianship of local flavours.
The area boasts a wealth of food and wine as well as extensive culinary experience offered by a network of restaurants, trattorias and osterie, as well as farms and artisans that have achieved worldwide recognition thanks to their efforts to safeguard and enhance local products and flavours.
An ideal Modena menu cannot but start with delicious local charcuterie, Prosciutto di Modena in particular. In first courses, the badge of honour goes to the local Tortellini, pasta parcels stuffed with pork, prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Main courses include Cotechino and Zampone, a mixture of minced pork, flavoured with herbs and stuffed inside the skin of a pig’s trotter. An essential condiment is Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, a sweet elixir unique to the local cuisine. It is made from cooked grape juice, slowly matured by acetification derived from natural fermentation and gradual concentration over the course of a long ageing process.
Another staple on the Modena table is a fine piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, ideally sampled as shavings with a drizzle of traditional Balsamic Vinegar.
This lavish lunch should of course be accompanied by a fine glass of Lambrusco, a sparkling, vibrant wine, ruby red in colour, which goes perfectly with the local fare and is the world’s best selling red wine.
Fruit includes the delicious Vignola cherries and Brusche amarena cherries of Modena, both with Protected Geographical Indication status. For dessert, you can choose from a wide range of specialities, the homemade Bensone (lemon-flavoured yeast dough cake), Zuppa Inglese (trifle) and Amaretti biscuits. And to finish off, a glass of Nocino, a delicious liqueur made from walnut husks.