The best part of Fotografia Europea is it spurred us to visit Reggio Emilia, a town we would have skipped if not for the festival. That would have been a mistake on our part.
Reggio Emilia is a beautiful spot to explore; one not overrun by tourists.
The multiple exhibits associated with the two-month run of Fotografia Europea encouraged us to hop a train from Bologna to nearby Reggio Emilia. Numerous photography exhibitions continue in interesting venues throughout the historic center for another month as part of this 11th annual festival.
A surprising centerpiece for the photography festival was the mounting of 150 works of an American, Walker Evans (1903-1975), at Palazzo Magnani. The website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art describes Evans as:
The progenitor of the documentary tradition in American photography, Evans had the extraordinary ability to see the present as if it already was the past….
We had not expected to encounter such an extensive visual exploration of American life while traipsing through Italy; of course, neither had we envisioned the opportunity to enjoy an Edward Hopper show in Bologna, an exhibit running through July 24.
Tastes of honey and cheese. Together. And then chocolate.
Wait, I’ve been here. This tastes like the flavors of Perugia. In fact, I’m including a photograph of a cheese plate with a palette of regional honey we enjoyed a few years back at Ristorante Gus.
But Central Market is making it easy to get those flavors by focusing on Italy from April 30 to May 13. These snapshots represent a preview of some of the products that will flood the shelves of every department during Passaporto Italia.
Tre Numeri Parmigiano Reggiano? Never had heard of seeking this out, but Central Market did and has brought in huge wheels of the prized dairy cheese from Reggio-Emilia. While most cheeses from this region are branded on the outside with four-digit numbers, these are aged 20 to 24 months and are branded with three. Howard cracked open one to taste, and it melts in your mouth.
And why had I never noticed the barrels of amazing balsamic vinegars in the bulk section?
A convenient shortcut to assembling the ingredients for Ragu alla Bolognese can be found in a sleeve, a ready-to-cook mix of beef, pork, pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, seasoning and three bay leaves. The accompanying recipe card launches you onto the course of simmering the ingredients for three hours with milk, Italian red wine and beef stock.
My favorite things previewed were Sous Chef Santiago Flores’ arancini. The prep to make these fried, filled balls of risotto is more than I care to undertake at home so being able to buy them freshly ready-made is wonderful. The two featured are a spring vegetable one and a saffron one with beef marrow. Please keep these on permanently….