Bologna

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Hi friends, I'll be spending a few days in Bologna next month and would love some input from those who've been there about culinary must-eats.  Never been there and don't know much about this city.
     
  2. someday

    someday

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    I'm so disappointed I thought this was going to be about the luncheon meat. It's just about that city...pffft. 

    I don't know much about anything but I hears something about Italy and pasta...not sure. You should investigate. 
     
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  3. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I was also ready to post a Bologna and fried egg sandwich. This looks to be a good article http://www.vogue.com/article/bologna-italy-food-drink-restaurant-travel-guide         I figure you have been to Italy in the past. There are a few rules I go by in Europe, I love the Piazza's for a glass of wine and people watching. I know if I'm in a restaurant with two may English speaking people I'm in the wrong restaurant. If you can find out where the locals eat, do so. Most of the better restaurant are off the beaten path. I think your in for a nice treat by going to Bologna.......Have fun, hold on to your wallet......The best.......ChefBillyB
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Ugh I know right? Everyone I know who's been to Italy has been robbed. And I'll be by myself which makes me a prime candidate.

    Besides Bolognese I don't know what bologna is known for.
     
  5. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Been reading a little bit and it seems that Bologna is considered quite the culinary capital. It is the land of bolognese aka ragu and tortellini which were shaped to resemble Lucrezia Borgia's navel. I'll be on the look out for good mortadella and be sure to walk away with a nice bottle of balsamico di Modena. So excited!
     
  6. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Koukouvagia, just walk around waving you hands and yelling, everyone will the your a local. When you go to Italy or Greece and other countries in that region stick to their own cuisine. The only food you'l fine in Italy is Italian cuisine. The same goes for Greece and many other countries. We are lucky to live in America when every state is known for something different. Look at the difference when traveling a few hundred miles through New England. It's like night and day when it comes to the variety of foods offered. Just think of your trip from NYC to Boston. Just think of the choices we have with just a short train ride from NYC to Philadelphia. Every state we have is like a different country. I just got back from Ireland and in many cases I knew what would be offered on many of the menus. I Italy I would look for some of the markets that offer cured meats. Get some good provolone, fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, Salumi,  Soppresata, Prosciutto and some crusty bread. Check out the farmers markets in the Piazza around Bologna. Most of the hotels included breakfast. If you see someone working as a cook in any off the kitchens ask them to make you a soft boiled egg. Most of the time they want to give everyone the hard boiled eggs on the breakfast buffet along with a variety of hand and cheeses, fruit and so on. The soft boiled egg makes it a nicer touch to their version of whats right. I don't think you will notice that much of a difference in the cuisine in Bologna. You would notice if you traveled from Venice to Rome to Sicily. I always try to to look at other tables as I walk through the restaurant. If something looks good I tell the waiter, I'll have what they're having.........Your going to have a great time. Enjoy
    Code:
    Amare il cibo e mangiare
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    @ChefBillyB  well I'm not going to Italy to eat sushi that's for sure lol.  I do have an acquaintance that lives in Bologna so I will reach out to him for recommendations on restaurants since he's a local and will surely steer me away from accidentally walking into a tourist trap. As much as I enjoy walking around and letting the breeze take me where it will, without a plan I'm likely to end up in a place I didn't bargain for.  It's good to have a plan for food, and then meander around for coffee and gelato.

    That's a good idea about the soft boiled egg, I will definitely do that.  My accommodations are not too shabby so I'll try to make the most of it for breakfast.  Gosh that reminds me of when my husband and I went to London for our honeymoon.  We didn't realize that breakfast was included at our swanky hotel and spent every day eating breakfast out in Mayfair. On our last day there we were reminded of our complimentary breakfast and rushed down to make it.  It was indeed the most beautiful breakfast we had during our whole trip!  I would go back there for the butter alone.  Beautifully soft scrambled eggs, cheeses, preserves, and a live guitarist softly serenading us while we sat by the banquette overlooking Hyde Park.  We were kicking ourselves that we had to leave that day lol.

    I'm going to smuggle as much dried salami as I can.  
     
  8. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaur...logna_Province_of_Bologna_Emilia_Romagna.html  

    When I see a sandwich shop like this I know I have to put it on my list. If you look at the pictures you can almost taste the salami and the crunch of the bread. This is my kinda place......I have no doubt in my mind, you will find some culinary treasures in your travel to Bologna. I think with you being a New Yorker it helps being more aware of your surroundings. I think the people who have problems with safety are the people who walk around with their heads in the clouds. I always keep my money and credit cards in my front pocket with an empty wallet in my back pocket. It kills me when I see people who know there are pickpockets and still get their wallet picked. I grew up watching the people who are watching me when I'm walking along the street. I tell my family, when in large cities If I tell you to cut the street, i'm looking ahead to avoid a problem. I don't think a person needs to be paranoid, but then again Paranoia is the greatest sense of awareness. Be safe and trust no one to help carry your bag....Your going to a wonderful place and you'll have a great time.....Enjoy.........ChefBillyB 
     
  9. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Well my trip to Italy ended a couple of weeks ago and I learned alot this time, considering that last time I went to Italy was 15yrs ago and back then I was not a cook and not even a foodie.

    Soooo, what did I learn? Italy is extremely regional. It is not a menu from which you can pick and choose what you wish to eat the way you do at some of the nice Italian restaurants in NYC. If you want risotto in Bologna just forget about it, you'll have to head to Venice or Milan for that. If you want pizza you'll find it, but everyone will tell you you have to go to Naples for the good stuff. Pesto isn't hanging out at every restaurant and there is not a large assortment of pasta shapes/lengths to choose from. In Bologna, 90% of the pasta on the menu is tagliatelle and tortellini.

    I also went with the hopes of finding the truth about gnudi. In my mind, gnudi is italian. I have asked some in the past and nobody has heard of this wonderful dish and after running into many Romans while in Bologna I have uncovered the truth - Gnudi are not Italian. So there, that's settled. Ok here's some of the stuff I found!
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    The Pasta

    Tagliatelle a ragu. This is the most common and ubiquitous dish in this region made with the classic bolognese meat sauce. So excellent in every way. I was very surprised that at every restaurant the pasta was home made.
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    It's even served to go as seen here in a wonderful little shop near the Two Towers. Check it out if you're there.
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    These are ravioli stuffed with spinach served al ragu.
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    Most of my time was spent in a little village a couple of hours south of Bologna called San Leo. A remarkable medieval town on the top of a mountain with stunning views of the Montefeltro Valley below, which just happens to be the place believed that daVinci painted the Mona Lisa. The local cheese there is called Fossa and these little raviolis are stuffed with it and served in brown butter. The taste is out of this world.
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    And of course the tortellini which are small and fabled to be in the shape of Lucrezia di Borgia's navel. They're stuffed with cheese or meat and served al ragu or in butter sauce or in cream sauce. These here are stuffed with mortadella and served alla pana.(cream)
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    In San Leo there was also a very popular local pasta I forgot to take a picture of called Strozzapreti which literally translates to "strangle the priest." It's not a dainty pasta! Shaped like a worm, they're made out of flour, breadcrumbs, and lemon zest and the texture is rugged and spongy. No pic sorry!
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    The Pizza

    As I mentioned above, pizza is everywhere but everyone is in agreement that the best pizza lives in Naples. I've been there and I would agree, however I found some real gems in Bologna. Sometimes the crust was thin and crispy, and sometimes it was thin and chewy. I loved it all. These were my favorites.

    This pizza was very crisp and the crust was hollow with a lot of air bubbles. It has very little stuff on it, just a bit of cheese and ham as it cooked and then it is topped with fresh arugula, cheese, and tomatoes. It is very common to see people drizzle oil on their pizza, fresh oil or even hot spicy oil and it gave a nice flavor.
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    This one was the chewy kind and it was topped with cooked greens (not sure what kind but it was delightfully bitter), sausage, mozzarella and provolone. No tomatoes.
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  12. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    OTHER STUFF

    This was called cotoletti Bolognese and it is a breaded/fried veal cutlet topped with prosciutto and a parmesan cream sauce. It looks terrible but I was in heaven.
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    The Italians eat a lot of boiled greens just like the Greeks. I felt right at home.
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    Ok this stuff is on every menu and with good reason. It is addictive. This is not prosciutto as you might think, the region I was staying is very well known for making this ham they call Carpegna ham. Maybe it was the lovely surroundings but I might agree with them that it is a lot tastier than prosciutto di parma. And the portions!
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    I fell in love with this fizzy drink made from sour oranges. It was sweetened slightly, but had such a nice tang. I wish we could find this at home.
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    Obligatory gelato shot. I only ate gelato once while in Italy because frankly I'm not into ice cream and I'd rather eat pasta I guess. But it was very good I have to say, this was ricotta strawberry cheesecake.
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  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    In conclusion, I'm stuffed hehe. Seriously, Bologna is pretty great but I cannot say enough about how beautiful San Leo is. It is a very quiet little town with little to do other than walk around and enjoy the stunning views and fresh air. It is worth visiting for a couple of days, I was there for 6 and was sad to leave.

    View from my hotel room. I mean look!
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  14. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Everything looks mouth watering (the village pix was lovely as well) but that ravioli had me wanting to pop thru the screen!

    mimi
     
  15. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Soooo not what I though what this thread was going to be about. Talk about a Happy ending! Glad to hear you had such a great trip. Food looks Bellissimo!
     
  16. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I had no idea people were so interested in lunch meat haha.
     
  17. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Happy you had a great trip. The food looks wonderful!
     
  18. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The juice based San Pellegrino is pretty commonly available here in the West. My local grocer carries it in many varieties as does Costco. I have a weakness for the blood orange while my wife prefers the pomegranate.
     
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  19. planethoff

    planethoff

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    Wow! Looks fantastic. What a great time. Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    What's with the Mexico card on the table tent?

    mimi