Just when you thought you knew the best of northern Italy, along comes Lynne Rossetto Kasper to introduce you to Emilia-Romagna, a fertile wedge between Milan, Venice, and Florence, as gastronomically important as any land in the world. The lush homeland of balsamic vinegar, prosciutto di Parma, tortellini, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, this is a region venerated by Italy’s food cognoscenti.
“Ask an Italian where to take only one meal in Italy, and, after recommending his mother’s house, he will more than likely send you to Emilia-Romagna,” writes Kasper.
A cuisine at once voluptuous and refined, the dishes of Emilia-Romagna’s kitchens are literally irresistible. Just listen to the names: “Little” Spring Soup from the 17th Century, His Eminence’s Baked Penne, Modena Crumbling Cake. Then imagine sitting down to a dish of Hot Caramelized Pears with Prosciutto, a Risotto of Red Wine with Fresh Rosemary, or a Pie of Polenta and Country Ragú.
The first American book to present the food of this singular northern region, The Splendid Table takes readers from Parma, Bologna, Modena, Ravenna, and Ferrara to tiny villages in the foothills of the Apennines, from Renaissance banquet halls to the simplest of farmhouses, offering history, folklore, and substantive cooking tips along the way.
Related article: Lynne Rossetto Kasper
A father’s legacy
The vegetarian-cooking pioneer
Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more
Good on everything