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May 10, 2010 11:15 AM

The Splendid Table on Emilia-Romagna

This might be old news to some of you...

I'm sure most people on this board (and any serious foodie) is familiar with Lynne Rossetto Kasper's show on American Public Media: The Splendid Table, whose targeted audience is "people who love to eat." Among many other awards, the show has won James Beard Foundation Awards for Best National Radio Show on Food.

What I didn't know, until last week, was her connection to the food of Emilia-Romagna.

I was reading Fred Plotkin's "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler". In his introduction to the Emilia-Romagna regions, he writes:

"...I recommend, if you want to learn much more about the food of Emilia-Romagna, that you read Lynne Rossetto Kasper's excellent book The Splendid Table, which is so authoratative the even though the author is American, Italians use it to better understand this region's food."

Well, this got me curious. I haven't rushed out and bought her book, but I did search her radio archives.

In 2008, she did a two-show special on Emilia-Romagna. She visits trattorias, coffee shops, acetaia (balsic vinegar makers), and salumeria. Comments on the food and interviews the proprietors.

It was most enjoyable and informative, and recommended to anyone interested in this region. You can listen or download it here:

I also found an episode with guest Fred Plotkin talking about the cuisine of the Marche. Great timing before I go on a trip to Emilia-Romagna and the Marche! However, there isn't really much in this interview that Fred doesn't already include in his book:


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  1. her cookbook is fascinating and excellent. thanks for the recommendation - Ive been slow to take advantage of downloadable videos!

    Im still mulling over your other question. Wondering why you dont just lunch at da Gigina at the end of your Bologna visit? Unless you have a terrific metabolism you will be unlikely to be able to burn up two big regional meals in any one day, especially when your body is jet-lagged. What are your touristic priorities other than eating?

    I really enjoyed our visits in this area - fortunately the best regional restaurants will have top flight cured meat products so you will not have to go to bussetto, zibello, felino, langhirano, etc to taste their wonderful meats.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      I agree that two big meals in a day is a bad idea. Especially when jet lagged. Especially when driving around. Especially if you really want to appreciate that meal.

      I wanted to do Gigina at the end of the Bologna visit. Unfortunately, (according to Plotkin) Gigina is closed Saturday. Maybe I should double check that.