The gourmet food tours organised by Parma Golosa consist of guided visits to the production sites of some of Italy's most famous DOP food products such as Prosciutto di Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as well as Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena.
You will have the opportunity of admiring and experience the different steps involved in the production.
The visits are formed around 4 main single tours, which we list below, but are flexible to be combined together in a pair, or three or all four if you wish to fit in with your travel plans.
1 PARMIGIANO REGGIANO CHEESE TOUR
Visiting a "caseificio" is like going back in time. The "King of the cheeses" actually has very old origins and today, like 7 centuries ago, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is still made following the same traditional and genuine methods.
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is protected by the European Union and can only be produced in a restricted area, the so called "zona tipica", which includes the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and a part of Bologna (left of the Reno river) and Mantova (right of the Po River).
We highly recommend you be on site by 9.00am at the latest, as this is when the cheese makers start to pull out the product from the milk vats.
The visit lasts about 1 hour 30 minutes, with tastings of different seasoned cheese at the end.
2 PARMA HAM TOUR
The production area of Prosciutto di Parma or Parma ham is located in the southern part of Parma province. Here, and only here, can genuine Parma Ham be produced.
Using very heavy and selected Italian pigs and following the traditional and genuine method, Prosciutto di Parma is still produced like it was about 2000 years ago.
Only four ingredients are necessary to produce Parma ham: a pork leg, a minimum quantity of salt to preserve the meat, the air to dry it out, and time, a lot of time, at least 12 months to get a perfect flavor.
You will visit the cooling and salting rooms before ending in the magical aging cellar.
The visit last about 1 hour and small tasting of ham and other cold cuts are offered accompanied by local wines.
3 TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR TOUR
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia and of Modena is a real jewel for all gourmets.
It is a unique vinegar based condiment as it is produced directly from grape juice. The liquid is then placed in wooden barrels and through an oxidation process over several years it is transformed into vinegar.
The tour starts with a view of the splendid 40 acre vineyards estate and continues with a visit of the rooms where the 'black gold' is produced, aged and preserved in the ancient barrels.
You will then taste 3 traditional balsamic vinegars which are 15, 22 and 28 years old.
The visit last about 1 hour 15 minutes.
4 WINE AND TOUR TASTINGS
Visit a local wine producer nearby the Torrechiara Castle which is located in the Parma river valley. This is the heart of the zone of origin of the wines from the Parma Hills.
The visit lasts about 1 hour 15 minutes and includes tastings of the following wines:
• Sparkling White Malvasia
• ‘Rosso di Montefiore’ (young red wine)
• ‘Vigna del Guasto’(aged red wine)