Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 3: Emilio-Romagna—Collecchio, Soragna, and Parma

This is the third installment of a day-by-day visual account of Tipo Cibo Vino 2022. (All photographs, unless otherwise indicated, are by me and are copyright Legacy of Letters.)

July 10, 2022 | Collecchio
Museo della Pasta

We drove two and a half hours from Cornuda to Emilia-Romagna to visit museums devoted to pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The day was very hot and we fully appreciated the air-conditioned van. Our first stop was the Museo della Pasta on the outskirts of the small town of Collecchio, located southwest of Parma. The museum, housed in an old farm complex, is full of milling equipment, pasta machines, extruding discs, colanders, posters, photographs, and other pasta-related items. There is even a detailed guide to 98 different varieties of pasta.

Legacy of Letters members walking across the “courtyard” of the farm complex to the Museo della Pasta exhibition space.

Mill stones and other equipment at the Museo della Pasta in Collecchio.

Various tools for cutting and stamping out different shapes of pasta.

Information panel for Castellane, a modern pasta shape designed by Carlo Mori for Barilla in 1987. The panel includes a photograph of the pasta and an actual die used in its formation.

Sayre Gaydos at the Museo della Pasta. The curtain at the right is made of copper rods to resemble strands of drying pasta.

Detail of photograph of 19th century Neapolitan spaghetti eaters. Courtesy of the Museo della Pasta.

July 10, 2022 | Soragna
Museo del Parmigiano-Reggiano

From Collecchio we drove north to Soragna, another small town in the orbit of Parma, where the Museo del Parmigiano-Reggiano is located. Before we visited the museum we dispersed to various restaurants for lunch. I ate with Peter Kruty, Sayre Gaydos, Anita Merk, and Sonia Biancalani Levethan at Locanda di Culatello. Sonia had chosen the restaurant and it was an excellent one. Given its name, we naturally ordered a piatto di affettati misti (plate of mixed cold cuts). It came with torta fritta, delicious “pillows” of fried dough.

A board of affettati misti and a bowl of torta fritta at Locanda del Culatello in Soragna.

After lunch we walked to the Museo del Parmigiano-Reggiano to learn about the process for making the quintessential cheese to grate over pasta dishes. After the various stages were explained to us, our guide Matteo led us to a nearby shop where we were able to taste and compare parmigiano that had been aged 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months.

Erica Carras, Henri-Paul Bronsard, and Richard Waller listening to Matteo as he explains the process of separating the curds from the whey in making parmigiano cheese.

Legacy of Letters members waiting to taste parmigiano aged 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months.

July 10, 2022 | Parma

Our hotel for our brief time in Emilia-Romagna was the Hotel Torino in Parma, situated a stone’s throw across the Strada Garibaldi from the Pilotta, the hulking building that houses several institutions, including the Biblioteca Palatina and the Museo Bodoniano.

A view of the musically illuminated Borgo Angelo Mazza looking toward Strada Garibaldi. The entrance to the Hotel Torino is to the right.

The southern flank of the Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma.