Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Delicious Albinelli Market in Modena, Italy

Trivia: Did you know that the Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy is the Food Capital of the country? It is also the Automobile Capital of Italy (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati), unfortunately, I don’t really care much about cars, but about food. At Mercato Albinelli in Modena I was able to have a quick peek into the marvelous food selection this region has to offer.

I will spare you with talk about history and details of this covered market because you can find it here: Mercato Albinelli in Modena

This is what I call pasta art. Top of the line gourmet handmade pasta. I would really hate cooking them, and then gorging them all down to my stomach and flushing them later into the toilet.

The Art Nouveau style market is very near the Piazza Grande where it originally was located. It is now on Via Luigi Albinelli, on one of the offshoot streets south of the piazza.

You can find pasta in every variety here, but the popular ones in this region are Tortellini, Ravioli and Tagliatelli. There is no such thing as Spaghetti Bolognese by the way. It is Tagliatelli Bolognese or ‘Tagliatelli al Ragu’. But honestly speaking? I am not a pasta gal but I will eat it if I need to and I make them at home because it is Dutchman’s favourite. I was contemplating on buying fresh pasta to bring home for the Dutchman but never really made the step to purchase.

Here at Albinelli I saw a gourmet type of Ravioli that would have been such a shame to cook if it were left for me to decide. They just looked so beautiful, like a work of art.

The celebrated Italian Balsamico is highly revered in Modena, producing the best in the country and in the whole world. Some bottles would go in the pricing of thousands of Euros but I am not a multi-millionaire who can waste money like that. Just give me a normal Modena balsamico, which is by the way a staple in my kitchen, and preferably a DOP please.

Balsamico can be used for cooking and garnishing. In Italy, especially in Emilia-Romagna, the locals use it a lot for garnishing dishes such as grilled vegetables and even salamis and cheeses.

Speaking of which—Prosciutto. Pancetta. Coppa. Mortadella. Felino. All kinds of salamis that make me very happy are here! The salumerias in this region are my favourite. Much better than in other Italian cities I have been to and definitely much better than in France and Spain. I am a self-confessed salami connoisseur and I can tell you, Italy makes the best salami (dried sausage) in the whole wide world.

I managed to buy 3 dried salamis here: 1 x Coppa and 2 x Felinos. The salumi merchant was very nice to give me a tasting as well. They were quite cheap. I would have paid twice if I have bought them in the Netherlands.

How can I forget Parmegiano Reggiano?! Another staple in my kitchen as well because the Dutchman loves his pasta. I cannot deny the fact that Parmegiano Reggiano (parmesan) pairs well with pasta dishes. I didn’t buy though because I can find them easily anyway here in the Netherlands and I still have some left in the fridge. It’s sister, Grana Padano also comes from this region.

Emilia-Romagna region also makes Lambrusco and frizzante type of wines. I love them especially when its warm weather and I am sitting outside on a terrace. But I also love the Sangiovese reds.

I managed to snack on a fish bite here—a Frittele di Bacala, in other words, Fried Bacalau fish. It was so delicious. Not bad for an expensive 2 Euro a piece fried fish (26,90 Euros per kilo).

Can you now understand why I am so excited to visit and talk about the Albinelli Market in Modena? Check out the pictures below.

Beans are quite popular here in Italy. Beans are great for healthy eating and I managed to have them for lunch on my last day of this 4-day Emiglia Romagna trip, in Bologna.

Tortellini pasta comes from the Emilia-Romagna region. 

This market used to be held at Piazza Grande and was moved here inside a covered structure in 1931.

I was eyeing these succulent looking deep fried Bacalhau fish, but I do not need a kilo, and not even a half. I just really need a bite.

So I chatted with the vendor and asked if I can just have 1 piece to taste. He smiled obligingly and took 1 piece and heated it up. For 2 euros. This was SO GOOD.

Scraps of ham and salamis.

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is quite expensive and I do like garnishing our pasta dishes with it but my favourite will always be the blue cheese. Yum. Pair it with some dried figs (or fig cake), salami, walnuts, a bit of jelly and a full-bodied red wine please.

These are great to grill and even just to top on salads. But they are also good to make sauces, for some flavour.

Ah, the aceto e balsamico di Modena! I wanted to buy a DOP but I only have a carry on with me which means I cannot carry any liquid on the plane. I didn't like buying them at the airport as well where they are overpriced. Nevertheless, I can find them anyway here in the Netherlands.

Lots of produce variety. This picture looks like the inside of my fridge. I love vegetables and I eat many of them raw. Those peppers, tomatoes and asparagus? I eat them raw.

The red wax must be some special trademark of sort.

One of the many salumerias in Albinelli Market.

 This is the salumeria where I had a salami tasting and bought some to bring home. It is very normal in Italian markets to taste before buying. Below you can see the dried salamis I bought.

This hallway is all about pasticerrias, rather heavenly baked goodies. I am not a bread and pastry type of person though so I passed.

Travel Period: May 2016
Destination: Modena (Emilia-Romagna), Italy

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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