The people of Emilia-Romagna eat more, care more and talk more about food than anyone else in Italy. Yet in the US and Canada, while the bookshops are full of cookery books about Tuscany and Sicily, there’s nothing on Bologna – despite the fact Bologna is considered “the culinary capital of Italy”.
Perhaps this is because the world already knows the most famous recipes, spaghetti bolognese, tortellini, lasagne? Or is it because the people here don´t care about exporting their treasure, they just pay attention to cooking rather than marketing? As Elizabeth David wrote in Italian Food, ‘ Everyone has heard of the mortadella sausage of Bologna, but how many hurrying motorists drive past the red and ochre coloured arcades of Bologna quite unaware that behind modest doorways are some of the best restaurants in Italy’.
Bologna for foodies
Fine, nobody wants Bologna to be swamped with tourists like Florence and Venice (both within day tour distance), pushing up prices and diluting quality. It´s a place for foodies, a hidden gem and that shouldn´t change! Of course, if you don’t want to or can’t go to Bologna, you can enjoy cucina bolognese at home – what you’ll miss is the spirit of a city where they live to eat.