Have you ever seen an ingredient-specific museum? The Emilia Romagna region in Italy has 25 such food museums. Each museum is dedicated to a food item ranging from Parmesan cheese to balsamic vinegar.
The region sits north of the Apennine Mountains in Italy. Also called the ‘Food Valley’, the place stretches from the mountains north to the Po River, east to Ravenna, and west just past Parma. Not just that the region boast of 44 PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) food products.
The place has a rich heritage of food and wine and the museum celebrates this diversity. Here is a list of three well-known places in Emilia Romagna region
Museo del Parmigiano Reggiano; Soragna
The museum celebrates the legacy of quintessential Italian cheese. It is housed in an old tollbooth, a working dairy until 1977. The building has been restored to give a glimpse of working of a 1900s cheese factory. On your visit you can see antique cheesemaking equipment, like a copper bell boiler from the 800s, a hand-drawn milk cart, and an antique churn.
Museo del Balsamico Tradizionale; Spilamberto
It pays homage to local custom of making balsamic vinegar and aging it for 25 years. The process normally starts when the child is born so that the product can be given as an inheritance. The place resembles a large aging barrel. The first room gives a glimpse of production process of three types of Balsamic – the standard wine balsamic, a 12-year refined vinegar, and the traditional 25-year version.
Museo del Formaggio di Fossa; Sogliano al Rubicone
This museum is also famous for a specific type of cheese – Ditch Cheese. The variety of cheese is aged underground in a ditch. The museum is situated in a cheese ditch on an old farm dating back to 1200s to 1400s. Guests can explore history of the ditch & cheese and can also carry some cheese for aging in a pit at home.
Lead Image Courtesy: Italy Magazine