Bologna: The food

It’s natural to find more affordable eateries around the university area, sometimes even better than straight up restaurants, and this was also true in Bologna. Aperitivo is a concept that exists almost everywhere in Italy and also some other countries, but Bologna was indeed one of the best places to experience the full, very hearty meaning of the lovely drink-and-eat-as-much-as-you-like-before-the-real-thing tradition.

bu14The term usually means the usually alcoholic drink before a meal, but it also refers to a nice spread of appetizers. Usually these appetizers are served in a buffet form, so you can order a drink and enjoy the dishes as much as you want. It’s especially great for students for obvious reasons but also a smart way to enjoy a quick lunch or dinner without having to spend too much. You ARE supposed to just eat as a quick snack or appetizer, but many students and travelers just eat their way through dinner. Don’t mind if I do.

아페르티보는 식사전에 가볍게 (먹고) 마시는 전통인데 사실 볼로냐같은 대학도시에서는 이걸로 그냥 점심이나 저녁을 때우는 경우가 허다하다고 한다. 화려한 부페는 아니지만 음료 하나만 시켜놓고 먹기에는 충분한 부페다. 한가지 치사한 점이 있다면 음식이 엄청 짜다는거. 나와 G는 한번 딱 먹어보고 둘다 눈이 번쩍. 하나만 시킬까봐 음식을 엄청 짜게 만들어서 물이라도 하나 더 주문하게 만드는거냐! 한번쯤은 경험삼아 먹어보는 것도 나쁘지 않다. 특히 젊은이들의 기가 느껴짐… 음료는 꼭 알코올이 아니더라도 괜찮다. 옆에 몇몇 학생들은 핫초코를 주문해서 마심. 우리가 갔던 곳은 잠보니 카페라는 곳인데 잠보니가에 있어서 찾기가 쉬웠다. 일단 들어가면 자리를 잡고 아페르티보 시킬게, 음료는 이걸로. 음료 가져다주면 부페로 고고. 다른 유명한 곳은 맘보 (현대미술관)에 있는 바, 혹은 자나리니 (Piazza Galvani, 1, 40124 Bologna; +39 051 275 0041).

There are a couple of good ones, but we went to the most famous, which was Caffe Zamboni.  So you sit, order any drink and then wait for the buffet to open. Then you go up to the food and just bring back as much as you like, multiple times. The trick was that their food was pretty salty, so then you tend to order something to drink. Cheeky. So the food here wasn’t shockingly great, but for a quick, affordable meal, it was good and fun! Other recommendations were the bar at MAMbo (Modern Art Museum) and Zanarini (Piazza Galvani, 1, 40124 Bologna; +39 051 275 0041).

bu7I don’t get frustrated very easily but I do tend to get a little fussy when I’m hungry and hot. So I’m almost always in search of small, simple snacks and also places that may have AC or relatively cooler than others (bookstores, higher floors in department stores, cafes IN bookstores, the ones where you have to buy a book to go in. Weird, I know.) The tigelline that we found by chance was perfect, something small to nibble on without ruining your appetite. They were like tiny ciabatta sandwiches, like three bites. The Tigelleria Tigellino that sell these little snacks was quite popular, and it was great because you could choose from so many varieties. There were sweet ones, salty ones, ones with honey, others with pesto…

일반적으로 짜증을 잘 내는 편은 아닌데 딱 두가지 상황에선 짜증이 절로 난다. 배고플때, 더울때. 그래서 오래전부터 관광을 하거나 길을 다니면서 간단한게 먹을 수 있는 샌드위치나 먹거리가 있는 곳들, 혹은 에어컨이 분명히 있을것 같은 곳들을 미리 눈여겨보는 습관이… (물론 이건 여름일때) 슬슬 배가 고파질 무렵 발견한 Tigelleria Tigellino 는 손바닥만한 샌드위치를 파는 곳인데 식사전이나 잠깐 출출할때 먹기엔 딱. 다양하게 시켜놓고 먹을 수도 있어서 좋다.

bu8When it comes to food, there are two staples in Bologna: Tortellini and, of course, Bolognese sauce.

볼로냐의 음식하면 바로 만두같은 토르텔리니와 볼로네즈 소스.

bf2Tortellini is basically a dumpling and they actually originate from Bologna. So there are apparently many legends that claim the origin, but interestingly enough, they are all pretty much the same story. So a man (in most of the legends, these men were innkeepers) could not help but to peek into the keyhole of one of their beautiful female guests (in one legend it was Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, or in my TV series memory Jeremy Irons, and in another it was Venus). All they could see? Their bellybuttons. Yes, the tortellini is also known as the “bellybutton of pastas” because of its shape. I’m not kidding.

토르텔리니는 볼로냐에서 태어났다. 다양한 전설들이 있는데 거의 다 내용은 비슷하다. 한 여관 주인이 너무나도 아름다운 투숙객의 방을 몰래 들여봄. (일반적으로 여관 주인들은 남자). 아름다운 투숙객은 다양한데 가장 유명한 전설 두개에 의하면 루크레지아 보르지아 (제레미 아이언스가 주인공이었던 미드 보르지아 주인공 알렉산더 6세 교황의 딸)였거나 비너스. 몰래 훔쳐보는거여서 여관 주인이 본 것은 아쉽게도 배꼽 뿐. 그리하여 (이 여인들의 배꼽에 감동을 받고) 만들어진 파스타가 배꼽 모양의 토르텔리니였다고.

bf3Technically speaking, this sauce is not called Bolognese, which literally means “from Bologna.” It’s known as ragù. The recipe was first documented from the late 18th century in a town called Imola, which is near Bologna. Then Pellegrino Artusi, which was an Italian banker, businessman and writer, wrote about the recipe in his famous Italian cookbook called “The Science of Cooking and the Art of Fine Dining” in 1891. Big title. I would very much want to get my hands on this book.

One thing that is so different from the tomato sauce based meat sauce is the pasta used for the dish. NEVER spaghetti. (Which I couldn’t believe at first. I still consider this a bit silly, but then after knowing why, I gave in. A little bit) The traditional dish only required tagliatelle, which is a traditional type of pasta from the Emilia Romagna region and long and flat. Spaghetti is almost never used in Italy, solely because the ragù sauce does not adhere well to the slippery and thinner pasta. OHHHH.

정확히 말하면 볼로네즈소스는 이탈리아어로 “볼로냐의 소스”라는 뜻. 우리가 알고 있는 이 토마토 미스 소스는 이탈리아어로는 라구라고 불린다. 18세기 후반에 처음 기록되었고 일반적으로 스파게티같은 가늘고 긴 파스타는 사용하지 않는다. 사실 나도 그냥 “아니, 아무 파스타에 먹으면 안되는거야?”라고 반문했지만 나름 과학적인 이유가 있었다. 가늘고 긴 파스타에 소스가 잘 묻혀져 있지 않아 먹을때 소스를 제대로 즐길 수 없다고. 가장 흔히 사용하는 파스타는 타야텔레 (네이버에 찾아보니 탈리아텔레라고 써있는데 gl을 발음하지 않는다). 계란 반죽이라 밀가루보다 쫄깃하고 달라붙는 경향이. 결과적으로 소스가 착착!

One famous restaurant is the Ristorante da Nello. It was recommended by a good friend of G’s who is also an avid food lover. The tragic part of this story was that it was closed when we were there. Our timing was pretty bad (they are closed on Mondays) and so we had to stand in front of the restaurant for about 5 minutes reading the long menu in sorrow.

추천받았지만 월요일엔 문을 닫는 관계로 방문하지 못한 Ristorante da Nello. 너무 안타까워서 문앞 메뉴판만 한참 바라보고 나옴.


bf8You can find a lot of shops and stalls that sell tortellini, mostly handmade. Travelers can also buy a handful as a gift or even just for themselves, as its quite easy to use and tasty with almost any sauce. Fresh packed tortellini can be shelved for about seven weeks. We couldn’t because we had to stop by Verona and Milan, but if it wasn’t the schedule, I would have bought a box full of it.

길거리를 걷다보면 핸드메이드 토르텔리니를 찾을 수 있는데 사서 좋아하는 소스로 만들어 먹기 간편하다. 직접 이렇게 만들어서 판매하는 토르텔리니는 7주정도 기다렸다가 먹어도 멀쩡하다고.

bu9One thing I noticed in Bologna was the service. Excellent service indeed. Not only are the waiters friendly and nice, the menus also included a lot of complimentary snacks, which is always a good thing… We ordered two glasses of wine, and we got chips and a simple plate of nachos, peanuts and olives. This would have costed at least 5-6 euros in Germany. Minus the wine. There are a number of cafes and wine bars scattered along the narrow streets of the city center, but we managed to find seats at Bar Calice (Via Clavature, 13, 40124 Bologna; photo) and the NU Lounge Bar. The first one is a more traditional, red plaid table skirts type of bar, while the lounge bar was a bit more loud, Lady Gaga and (cough) young.

어느 이탈리아 도시가 그렇듯, 볼로냐도 값이 적당히 싸고 맛있는 와인 바들이 많다. 분위기를 보고 들어가서 마시면 되는데 우리가 갔던 곳은 Bar Calice (Via Clavature, 13, 40124 Bologna, 사진) 그리고 NU라운지 바.  우리나라도 맥주나 술을 시키면 가끔 땅콩도 주고 새우깡도 주는데 독일은 공짜가 없어서 뭘 먹어도 꼭 따로 돈을 내야한다. 볼로냐는 학생들이 많고 관광객도 꽤 많은 편이라 그런지 간단한 안주도 푸짐하다. 우리 둘다 감동받음.

Places mentioned:


  • Caffe Zamboni
  • MAMbo (Modern Art Museum)
  • Zanarini (Piazza Galvani, 1, 40124 Bologna; +39 051 275 0041)

Restaurants and snacks


All photos by rachelsanghee

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