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What’s a Tagliere?

If you go out to dinner with Mike and I in Bologna, there’s a pretty good chance we will insist on splitting a tagliere misto as an appetizer.

Tagliere literally means cutting board. A tagliere misto is simply a board filled with regional meats and/or cheeses. We’d probably call it a charcuterie board in the States. It’s one of the best ways to experience local cuisine in Italy.

Typical Bolognese tagliere

Contents vary, but here in Emilia Romagna you are likely to find:

  • Mortadella– the grandfather of modern bologna. Mortadella is not my favorite but it’s way better than the stuff we call bologna in the states.
  • Parma Ham– this stuff however, this is the best stuff. Parma is often called the King of Hams, and it is some of the tastiest (sometimes priciest) prosciutto out there.
  • Parmesan Cheese– the real stuff, so good.

There are a ton of other possibilities: assorted salami, squaqerone cheese, coppa, culatello, etc.

If you’re lucky your tagliere will be served with crescentines/gnocchi fritto, this amazing pillows of fried dough.

There might be olives, or tapenade or grilled veggies or something, but I wouldn’t bank on it. At it’s heart, tagliere is about meat, and cheese. And, paired with a glass of lambrusco, it’s the perfect appetizer. Unless you’re a vegan, I guess.

 

 

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