His majesty the tortellini
A treasure chest of flavor, beauty and artistry
You cannot say you have really known Bologna if you have not eaten a plate of tortellini. Bologna, the fat one, is food culture, and tortellini is its main protagonist. It is one of the symbols of Emilia, and it is part of the history of the culinary tradition of this land straddling the plains and the Apennines.
Modena or Bologna?
The origin of turtlén is disputed between Modena and Bologna. The place where this masterpiece of stuffed pasta was created is undoubtedly Castelfranco Emilia. The problem is that at the time of the events, the town was under the province of Bologna, while today it belongs to the territory of Modena. And like all great gastronomic stars, the dispute over the paternity of the iconic dish has become thorny.
Galeotto was... the navel
Legend has it that this little jewel of yellow pasta enclosing a tasty filling - a mix of meat, mortadella and prosciutto - was inspired by a woman's navel. If there are doubts about the city of origin, there is also a double version on the legend : the navel that was the inspiration could be that of a noblewoman or even to that of Venus. According to the first legend, a marquise traveling back in the 1200s stopped at the Corona inn in Castelfranco Emilia to rest. The innkeeper, enraptured by the beauty of the young woman, spied her enchanting features through the keyhole and was mesmerized by the absolute perfection of her navel, so much so that he wanted to pay homage to her by enclosing a meat filling inside a veil of puff pastry folded in on itself and wrapped around his little finger, to emulate the shape of the navel. The second legend has the gods Bacchus, Mars and Venus traveling through Emilia. The inn and innkeeper are the same, and so is the town: Castelfranco. What changes is only the inspiring muse admired by the innkeeper through the keyhole: the goddess of beauty, Venus herself.
The recipe is sacred
Despite its confusing origins, amid legends and claims, the recipe for tortellini has always been considered a serious story, so serious that in 1974 it was filed with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce by the "Dotta Confraternita del Tortellino." Walking under the arcades of downtown Bologna, it is easy to see them in the windows of historic stores. And us, don't we want to emulate them? After all, to experience the real Bologna, one cannot leave the city without eating a plate of tortellini in broth or seeing an sfoglina make these little masterpieces with great dexterity and skill.