Food shopping in Emilia-Romagna
Food shopping in Emilia-Romagna is a culinary treat. Here you’ll find the widest choice of Italian specialties within pasta, cheese, hams and sausages at their point of origin.
Emilia-Romagna is undoubtedly one of the most important Italian food centres. This region spans enormous fertile plains, rivers and lagoons in the Po delta, hills and mountains in the south towards Tuscany and the coast along the Adriatic Sea, which provide a wide choice of local dairy, meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.
The long history of kingdoms and duchies in the area, where professional cooks ran a wealthy kitchen, has established a strong culinary tradition. Which may have helped food producers in Emilia-Romagna, who were quick to adapt to a modern era and establish a streamlined production of pasta, balsamic vinegar, sausages such as mortadella, cotechino, pancetta and zampone. Not the mention the Parma ham, Parma cheese and other gastronomic treasures.
Three kinds of markets
The choice and variety of local delicacies makes food shopping in Emilia-Romagna a pleasure – even when you are staying in a hotel with absolutely no cooking intentions.
All Italian towns have at least three kinds of markets.
There are daily, weekly or bi-weekly outdoor markets depending on the size of the city, where you can buy just about anything from curtains to courgettes.
There are the covered food markets, where professionals and pensioners sell a jumble of garden produce, fish and charcuterie.
And then there are the supermarkets and hypermarket like Ipercoop, Auchan, Carrefour and Essalunga Superstore, where you can have just about everything and leave with nothing except the a severe case of hypermarket jitters.
Look for the markets and the small specialty shops instead. Places where you don’t have to put on plastic gloves to pick carrots, and where you can truly enjoy the dedication and decorative skills of small vendors who take their job and produce seriously.