DISTANCE: inside 3km. radius from B&B
Borlengo is a very thin bread, almost with the consistency of a crêpe. The dough is extremely simple, made of water , flour, eggs and salt. Served hot, folded in four, and filled with the “cunza“, a pesto made with chopped lard, garlic and rosemary, which contains all the strong flavors of Modena earth.
Borlengo is a very typical dish because you can only eat in a very narrow area of the Apennines, precisely between the valleys over Modena, from Vignola to Guiglia, where it was born (some says in the Neolithic era).
Borlengo is also a “social” food in all aspects . It’s difficult to eat and it almost forces you to stay longer at the table, with a friendly chat and a good glass of red wine. Also you have to cook borlengo in company: for the considerable dimensions requires a demanding processing, for which is always better to have at least two people in the kitchen.
Of course there is no party in the region without borlengo: in Guiglia every May and October, it takes place “La Sagra del Borlengo”.
DISTANCE: inside 10km. radius from B&B
Take a walk through the ancient towns and green valleys surrounding Modena in search of the season’s best red cherries in the world.
It doesn’t take an expert to tell you that the best Italian cherries come from Vignola. Located about 15 miles south of Modena, Vignola is part of the sub-region of Italy known as the modenese, famous for its fast cars and good food, including its crisp red cherries. The local climate and fertile soil, nourished by the nearby Panaro River, as well as an established agricultural tradition, are important factors contributing to the excellent quality of the cherries.
After you have had your cherry-fix and ready to explore the city, head to the Rocca, a medieval castle located in the center of Vignola. Originally built as a defensive fort, the property was later converted to a luxurious home filled with elegant interiors and frescos. From the raised walkways, you can look out onto the valley of cherries.
Located near the Rocca, Pasticceria Gollini is a historic pastry shop hidden under the city’s porticos. Here you can indulge in a slice of the shop’s famous Barozzi chocolate cake, made by hand with the freshest ingredients since 1885. Don’t ask for the recipe because it is a safely guarded secret.
As the sun starts to set, book a table for dinner at all’Osteria Novecento in Manaro sul Panaro. The stonewalled restaurant is housed in an old mill. It was a welcoming atmosphere and offers a simple, yet appetizing menu, including gnocchi made from purple potatoes, served with an herb cream, and savory focaccias called crescentine paired with artisinal salumi.
DISTANCE: inside 20km. radius from B&B
Why does my heart race every time I’m headed towards Emilia-Romagna (even before I’ve ingested the prodigious cholesterol that awaits me)? That off-hand joke may be part of the explanation: this is a region of full-bore rich food, with, I’d wager, a lower percentage of calorie-counting maniacs trying to fit into their new outfits. Eating rich food seems so natural in Emilia-Romagna. And…miracle of miracles…it doesn’t seem oppressively rich! That bowl of tortellini in cream–well, somehow in this magical context, you don’t obsess about the fact that you’re not having a salad for lunch.
There’s lots of creative food in Emilia-Romagna, as everywhere. They have a top-ten-list molecular palace for chrissake, Osteria Francescana, three Michelin stars and the best restaurant in the world 2016. But even there there’s tagliatelle Bolognese on the menu. When you look behind most of the creative frou-frou in Emilia-Romagna, you find it’s the soul of the region that anchors many dishes. The supremely powerful connection of chefs to their homeland can never be abandoned or improved upon here.
DISTANCE: inside 15km. radius from B&B
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) can only be produced in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Only in this area there is an abundance of grapes with just the right concentration of sugars and acidity.
From Modena to the conquest of the World: Produced from the must of fermented grapes, with the addition of aged vinegar and wine vinegar, then matured in wood barrels, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) is a condiment with an ancient history that has been able to adapt successfully to the flavours of modern cuisine and to heterogeneous gastronomic cultures.