Love, italian style
When Melanie Dunea discovered the Emilia-romagna region, she was already in love, but not with Italy. Oh how the tables have turned
When Melanie Dunea discovered the Emilia-romagna region, she was already in love, but not with Italy
I’ve been to this region of northern Italy, Emilia-romagna, many times in the past year, a period when I was very much in love with someone. But that ended peaceably, and I’m now returning alone. What is becoming clear to me is that it wasn’t just my personal relationship that rendered this place so magical. I’m drawn to the food of this place, to the people—to the Emilia-romagna region itself—with an intensity that surprises me. And I love this sumptuous tortellini en brodo.
Now, I’m from the US Midwest, and we Midwesterners don’t pepper our talk with words like “love” and “sumptuous” willynilly. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a spritz of glam as much as the next woman. But Midwesterners, as a rule, aren’t known for being easily dazzled. That could be one reason why, before my first visit to Emiliaromagna—a region sandwiched between Milan and Florence and anchored by Bologna—my relationship with Italy had been, well, rather undazzling.
I LOVE YOU,” I BLURT OUT AFTER THE PERFECT SPOONFUL OF TORTELLINI EN BRODO PASSES BETWEEN MY LIPS. THE MAN SITTING OPPOSITE ME, THE THIRD-GENERATION OWNER OF TRATTORIA DA AMERIGO DAL 1934 IN SAVIGNO, AN ITALIAN VILLAGE FAMOUS FOR ITS WHITE TRUFFLE FESTIVAL, ISN’T SURE WHAT I MEAN. I POINT MY FORK AT THE DISH; ALBERTO BETTINI SMILES AND NODS.