Itinerary of Mountain Taste. (Itinerary 3)
If today you have decided to use this map it means that you already are or you will be soon on Modena’s Western Apennine with your climbing boots or with your inseparable mountain bike.
The beauty of nature is amazing, the flow of the geological eras is clear in the giant ophiolithic outcrops or in the stratifications of flysch, a very ancient stone that was once submerged in the sea depths.
The trails wind through hamlets and villages rich in history, from the Middle Ages to the intense period of the Resistance during the Second World War.
It is a land where you can lose yourself in endless explorations and you can satisfy your desire of practicing sport far from the noisy and polluted city as well as that of staying in contact with an untouched nature. Nature also offers man the ingredients to prepare traditional products and recipes tempting any palate thanks to their excellence and genuineness. The blend of all these elements, air, water and earth, creates a perfect chemistry that makes the flavour of the mountain products unmistakably unique.
That is why we offer you A Taste of Mountain itinerary, suggesting the most meaningful stops that will finally fulfill your desire of authenticity.
Let’s start with the several dairies located between Prignano and Frassinoro. Parmigiano Reggiano is certainly the most important dairy-farming product. This cheese, with its incredible nutritional properties, has got very ancient origins and it was already mentioned in Roman times. Here you can taste and purchase butter, ricotta (cottage cheese), pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese), the rare tosone and other local cheeses. Before that, the dairyman will answer all your questions and will guide you in the visit to the dairy and the warehouse where the huge Parmigiano wheels are safely kept.
If you wish to find the perfect accompaniment for your cheese, you must stop in Rubbiano, and pay a visit to a beekeeper and honey producer. The nuances of colour, ranging from straw yellow to brown, and the taste, from delicate to intense, reveal the different types of flower from which pollen was extracted by the amazing worker bees.
You can purchase jams made with “ancient” fruit to accompany cheese or to be eaten for breakfast, blueberry and raspberry juices, jars of mushrooms in oil and spirits to be sipped at the end of any meal.
Being a gourmet sportsman, your journey will certainly lead you to the salami factory of Monchio, where you can buy lots of hams, salamis, coppe (pork sausages) and bacon that you will wisely match with mountain bread.
In Monchio you cannot miss the visit to a mill which is unique in its kind. It produces “whole” flour, from which neither bran nor the most nutritional parts of wheat have been removed.
Fortune always accompanies the gourmet hiker towards the traditional festivals and village fairs that enliven the Western Apennine, from spring to autumn. An excellent opportunity to taste cakes, ciacci and castagnacci (chestnut cakes) or the delicious tartufo, prepared according to the ancient recipes of the mountain tradition.
What else to say?... Enjoy your meal.