Wednesday, 4 October 2017

six reasons to visit parma.

 

Parma. Found in the Emilia-Romagna region, this Italian city is a must-travel for foodies, adventurers and history lovers alike. Before my trip, I lost track of the people asking me what I'd be doing in Palma, Majorca. But no, this is far from it's Spanish soundalike, this lesser known Italian haven is more familiar than first thought. Remember delicious platters of thinly sliced Parma ham, boxes of Barilla pasta or that twist of Parmigiano-Reggiano to finish your dish? Well, this is where it all hails from. And I'm not surprised why they're so proud about it. 

As a guest of the official Prosciutto di Parma consortium, I spent three days exploring this lovely part of Italy. If you're keen to visit too, here are a few things to tick off your travel to-do list...



1. Try Prosciutto di Parma.
It's got to be done really, hasn't it? We were lucky enough to visit during the Parma ham festival, getting to sample ham from 18 months to 30 months aged. Having taken a tour around a producers, we appreciated how much time and effort is taken for the perfect prosciutto. Serve it the traditional Italian way with torta frita - best described as little bread pocket which you stuff with delicious ham. Yum!


2.  Soak up the sights.
Parma is a pretty small city and a lot of people tend to travel by bike or moped. We happily walked about and saw a lot whilst getting our steps in. Think colourful buildings, interesting antiques shops and delis. Even the supermarket had rows and rows of dry pasta in shapes I hadn't seen before. Must return.



3. Enjoy aubergine parmigiana.
If Parma ham isn't for you, try the melanzane alla parmigiana. Softened, layered up aubergine with mozzarella and a fresh tomato sauce. Definitely a crowdpleaser amongst the vegetarians too.



4. Sip on a cold glass of Lambrusco.
The first time I'd tried sparkling red wine, I'll admit. I just wish I could've brought a bottle or two back. This slightly fizzy beverage was the perfect accompaniment to the Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano we sampled throughout the trip. Spot the torta frita too! 

An hour or so after this was taken, I ordered a cappuccino at 2pm. I now know this is not the done thing and to be a true Italian it must not be ordered after 10am. Noted.





5. Take a history tour.
Parma is absolutely steeped in history; from religious buildings to war time relics, history buffs will be in awe. We had a fantastic tour from a local guide and I can't recommend it enough. A great way to see any city, making notes of anywhere you want to go back and explore.




6. Extend your Summer.
Unsurprisingly, the September forecast was a lot better than windy England. With lovely fair but sunny days reaching around 20 degrees, it made for the perfect weather to get out those Summer dresses and enjoy warmer nights, without feeling too hot to enjoy walking around. Plus, gelato. Need I say more?


Have you been to Parma or nearby? Even as far as nearby Bologna and Modena, you get the traditionally made Balsamic vinegar and Bolognese sauce. It really is a dream for foodies!

I'll be creating some more Parma ham recipes throughout the year so stay turned to my Instagram, or go and check our some of their own on the official Prosciutto di Parma website.

Perhaps try my Parma ham, ricotta and basil bruschetta or this Monkfish wrapped in Parma ham with a black olive and tomato risotto.

In collaboration with Prosciutto di Parma.

4 comments:

  1. My auntie and uncle met in Parma, sadly I've never had the chance to go - such a shame as I love Parma ham! Sparkling red wine is something I'd love to try too - what a trip to a beautiful city!

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  2. Oh wow I am SO jealous this trip looks wonderful. I'll defintiely be adding it to my list of places to travel - not least for the parma ham!

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  3. Parma sounds like such a lovely little city to visit! Would love to see it one day. I'll be sure to try the aubergine parmigiana. Yum!

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