5. From Florence: Parmesan, Balsamic Vinegar, & Prosciutto Tour
This tour from Florence shows you how Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar of Modena, and prosciutto ham are produced. Visit regional factories and estates and taste products unique to the region of Emilia-Romagna. Enjoy a typical traditional lunch entirely made with fresh, 0 km ingredients. Start your trip by stepping back in time and learn how Parmigiano Reggiano is produced at a biological caseificio (cheese factory). Find out why the provinces of Parma, Modena, and Reggio Emilia are the only ones that can produce authentic Parmigiano Reggiano. Watch cheesemakers at work as they cook the milk to separate the whey and lift the Parmigiano Reggiano, then head to the aging room. Admire the rows upon rows of cheese wheels and inhale their sweet scent. Taste various types of Parmesan cheese and ricotta paired with local products. Next, head towards an acetaia (balsamic vinegar factory), where you will serve a multi-course lunch typical of the Emilia-Romagna region. You will learn about balsamic vinegar-food pairing. Every served dish is carefully paired with several varieties of balsamic vinegar. After lunch, join a private tour of the estate and its cellars. Receive a full introduction into the balsamic vinegar making process, from the pressing of the grapes and cooking the wort in the boiler to the filtration and mixing process. Taste different types of balsamic vinegar, such as “Tradizionale” and “Extravecchio." Then, head to a prosciuttificio (prosciutto factory). You will tour the factory, visit the production rooms, and understand how ham processing works. Conclude your tour at a tasting of their products: hams both raw and cooked, such as culatta, lardo, salami, prosciutto cotto, prosciutto al tartufo. The cold-cuts will be accompanied by a typical bread from Emilia-Romagna called crescentine, or tigelle. Head back to Florence.