Italy is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most famous foodie countries, and the jewel in the crown is the Emilia Romagna region. It’s where some of Italy’s most famous foods are produced. Parma ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the sweet tangy balsamico di Modena… do I have your mouth watering yet?
Slow travel holiday company Inntravel have recently launched their new walking, cycling and laid back holiday package to the Emilia Romagna region, covering cities like Parma, Bologna, and Modena (with an optional last night in Venice). You can check out their Italian Food Adventure holidays on their website, but in the meantime they’ve sent me a big hamper of tasty regional products to review – and one for one lucky reader! Fancy your chances of winning (and want to hear about the yummy flavours of Emilia Romagna?) Read on…
As soon as I opened the hamper I couldn’t resist the Proscuitto Riserva parma ham and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. That cheese isn’t just for flaking on your pasta, btw, it’s also perfect for a cheese board. Tangy, salty, and really hard, it pairs wonderfully with high tannin wines like Sangiovese. Before digging into my feast, I made up a little olive oil and balsamic dip (using the sticky, sweet and tangy vinegar in the hamper) for my bread.
Another treat in the hamper was the spinach and ricotta tortelloni, which I (perhaps controversially) tossed with pesto and served with a salad. And a few shavings of that lovely Parmigiano of course. I’m a sucker for stuffed pasta. Although I prefer to buy fres,h these dried ones are a handy thing to keep in the store cupboard.
I saved the bottle of Lambrusco for a few nights later, to accompany my favourite treat meal: pizza! Pizza is something I always treat myself to if James goes out for the night, as is a bottle of sparkling wine, so this fizzy red fit the bill perfectly. I’m not really a big fan of sparkling reds to be honest (they’re a bit Vimto-ey), but this particular one went down a bit toooo easily.
The best bit of this hamper, though, was the Marrons glaces. These are basically candied chestnuts wrapped in the smoothest, silkiest, most delicious milk chocolate ever. I could have eaten the whole box to myself but my dad and James obviously felt the same way and got stuck in too. Sad times for me, happier ones for my waistline.
I haven’t quite got around to whipping up the cake mix yet, so I can’t comment on that, but I’m looking forward to doing it this weekend. The box has suggestions for what I can do with the mix to jazz it up a bit, such as making a ‘torta d’Autunno’ (with almonds and cinnamon) or ‘torta farcita’ (strawberry and chocolate layer cake).
If you want to enjoy your own Italian Foodie Adventure, you’re in luck. Inntravel are giving away a hamper packed with all the yummy goodies I’ve mentioned here such as Piadina Romagnola, Prosciutto Riserva, Parmigiano Reggiano, Tortelloni Ricotta & Spinach, Marrons glaces, Mutti Tomato Puree, Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Cocoa Cake Mix and Lambrusco Rosso.
You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. It would be great if you could follow @Inntravel on Twitter, Visit Inntravel’s page on Facebook, and Tweet about the giveaway tagging in @Inntravel and using the hashtag #ItalianFoodAdventure. I’ll announce the winner on the 13th February. Good luck!
Note that this competition is only open to UK residents (for postage reasons, obviously!) and people aged 18+ because there’s obviously some booze in there
Disclosure: Inntravel gave me a hamper of goodies to review but all opinions are, as always, my own.