A Guide to Grana Padano - where it comes from, where to buy it and how to use it

I have written, at length, about the virtues of Emilia Romagna’s glorious, grainy parmigiana reggiano. I have vehemently championed the restorative properties of a good ricotta and I’ve waxed lyrical about my unwavering adoration for Puglia’s big, beautiful buratta.

Well, dear readers, I have a new favourite cheese to talk about which is, ironically, also the oldest cheese there is to talk about.

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Ten foods you need to eat in (and around) Bologna

Huge white flecked hams hang in doorways, windows are adorned with wheels of fresh, grainy parmiggiano reggiano, market tables are taught with fresh vine tomatoes and purple artichokes, and pasta is everywhere – usually smothered in butter or tossed in a hearty ragu.

Bologna’s nickname is ‘la grassa’ (the fat one), a name which is entirely warranted. It is a gastronomic paradise and a place of epic culinary consumption. If you’re visiting with a loved one, make sure they love you for your curves. Diets die here

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How to eat Pizza in Naples

One does not go to Naples and pass up a pizza. Forgoing a pizza in Naples is akin to visiting Athens and deciding against a visit to the Acropolis or going to the pub and ordering a sparkling water. It is morally reprehensible. 

Yes, you can find a decent slice of pizza elsewhere. But we are, after all, still living in a world where *voice rises to feverish pitch of indignation* people are happy to replace pizza crusts with a series of mozzarella stuffed cheesy balls and where ‘meat feasts’ and ‘barbeque chicken supremes’  actually exist. 

So my budding pizza purists. You know where you need to go to get the proper stuff. You need to go to Naples. 

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Roman Food : an offal lot of offal

Few foods inspire such a ferocious response from people as 'offal' does. Tell someone you've prepared offal for tea and you'll likely receive a barrage of onomatopoeia - 'bleurghs', 'eurghs' and probably a bit of gagging.

Rarely will you hear the words 'PHWOAR! Entrails? Please do pass over the plate!'

But, unless you are a Vegetarian, you cannot say you have eaten properly in Rome unless you've tried offal. Oxtails, brains, calf intestines and lamb inners are all menu stalwarts in Rome. 

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Inside Scoop: Three of my favourite gelateria in Rome

Rome is a haven for gelato. There are probably just as many gelateria as there are churches in the city, from huge labyrinths offering over 250 flavours, to pokey windows, to gourmet establishments offering everything from pistachio to parmesan. 

Rome is to the gelato afficiando, what Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is to Augustus Gloop. 

Here’s my guide to three of my favourite gelato in the city (all natural of course): 

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