Huffington Post Food, which, along with Huffington Post Travel is one of Tour Italy Now’s go-to lifestyle sites, has compiled a list of the Top 20 Michelin-Starred Cities in the World. Not surprisingly, considering how delicious Italy food is, two Italian cities make the list: Bergamo, outside Milan, ranks number two, and Modena, about an hour from Bologna, ranks number twelve. Bravo! We wanted to call this Fun Fact about Italy to your attention, to generally recognize the great achievement but also perhaps so you can plan accordingly for your next Italy vacation.
Of course eating Italian food while on vacation in Italy involves every food style, from pizzeria to trattoria and fine dining restaurants. While a Michelin-starred restaurant may not normally be on the cards for you — they’re not inexpensive, these culinary wonderlands — it’s fun to be in the know and also fun, if you’re in a heavily-Michelin-starred area, to check out other restaurants. The super stars (pun intended!) tend to raise the bar for the chef community all around.
Seeing these two Italian towns on the list triggered memories of one of my favorite cookbooks, Marcella Hazan’s The Classic Italian Cookbook. For those of you who do not know her work, Marcella Hazan is essentially the Italian Julia Child. Her cookbooks introduced authentic Italian cooking to Americans, going back to the 1970s, and they continue to sell well. She is also credited with introducing balsamic vinegar to a wide U.S. audience. Balsamic is made in Modena, one of the two cities awarded the Michelin star noted by Huffington Post Food. Apparently Marcella came to regret that, as she feels it is now overused. (Fair enough, but personally I love balsamic vinegar so much, I think overuse is impossible. That’s practically like saying salt is overused!) Modena is of course in Emilia-Romagna, one of the most exciting culinary destinations in Italy and the perfect place to begin a regional Italian food tour! Besides Modena, there’s Parma and Reggio Emilia to explore as well.
Yours in celebrating Italy,