Italy: Tasting Parma
The city of Parma is sure to please every lover of culture and art, but its surroundings are a paradise for gourmets and winemakers. After about half an hour of travel, the brands directed us to Casale del Groppone and Ariola.
A dreamlike scenery opens up in front of us, which always emerges when I close my eyes and imagine relaxing amidst the undulating countryside of Northern Italy. Tall cypress trees line the road to the parking lot. Around the terracotta-stone villa, the vineyards spread out into the distance and the flowers smell in the air.
We are located in the town of Calicella di Pilastro. We stand at the large Casale del Groppone farmhouse above the historic wine cellars of a typical Parma rural estate. This place serves exclusively for the sale and tasting of wines and typical Parma products. It offers special programs for groups and individuals. You can visit the Parmesan cheese factory, the prosciutto ham factory, the wine cellars or vineyards, as well as the cultural attractions in the area with local guides. This place is an example of how Italians really can make the most of everything.
The dream becomes a reality, on a large loggia with a view of the beautiful landscape awaits us saucers with five types of meat and parmesan. The olfactory cells are already perfectly irritated, the saliva converging on the tongue, and we have no other choice but to finally bite and taste these famous treats.
Raw meat is also called prosciutto crudo, but cooked prosciutto cotto. Also popular is Prosciutto San Daniele, which has more distinctive spices - it is a little darker and sweeter, with an SD mark. Sandaniel pigs behave outdoors, so their meat is lighter than that of Parma pigs, and it is enriched with the taste of acorns they feed on. However, this ham is more expensive than Parma because its production is smaller.
The forms of serving prosciutto are various. In Italy, it is served either on a thick salty bar - grissini or as an asparagus. But the ham is also eaten in combination with melon, pizza and as a decoration of various dishes, sandwiches and baguettes. Caprese salad is also famous, with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil in addition to prosciutto.
Cutting the ham into thin slices through which the sun's rays shine is the most important art. It requires a special knife and the skill of a butcher or cook. Slices as thin as paper give the best taste to the softness and taste of the dried ham, but even today there are machines.
There are a lot of ways to prepare prosciutto, but for the time being it is sufficient to use the sticks and parmesan. The most important food supplement in Italy is wine. And because we are directly above the vineyards, we have also tasted several local varieties that boast world awards. The rumors about these products really did not lie and the dazzling smell and taste made us want to buy.
Completely satisfied and in good mood, we leave the kingdom of traditional Italian flavors. We return back to the plains and hills where you can discover perfectly preserved examples of beautiful medieval architecture. The castles that tell their stories stand here as symbols of the power of the lords who once ruled here. Less than a 10-minute drive away is the picturesque village of Torrechiara, above which is Castello di Torrechiara. In the opposite direction from the farm you have the same distance to the other interesting castle - Felina. In addition to looking into history, this medieval gem offers the Museum of Salami.
If you are wondering how prosciutto is produced, read our experiences in a week.
Text and photos: Anna Nociarová
Edited by: Infoglobe
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