June 8, 2012


Since the earthquake in Emilia Romagna I have felt wordless. I am from San Francisco, but never been in a real earthquake where any damage was done.

The quake in Emilia Romagna was horrible and has not stopped. They had two large quakes at 5.0 which have left many dead and thousands homeless.

What is really bothering me, is that the people from the last quake in Aquila in 2009 are still homeless and the town has not been rebuilt.

just a peaceful foto near my home

The valley where the recent quakes took place is one of the richest in Italy. Called the Food Valley, we are in the heart of production of parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and farm lands for much of Italy's fruits and vegetables.

Watching the TV, we have seen that also important industries, such as bio-medical, have had their buildings destroyed.

I didn't feel the first quake at all, but while sitting at my computer last week, I felt a little dizzy and then realized it was the house moving. We were feeling the second large quake up north.

That week I had friends arriving in Parma to visit the Barilla pasta factory and after were coming down to Modena and Bologna and asked me to join them to act sort of as a guide. I accepted, but wondered if after all my time in San Francisco, would I be caught in a real quake in Italy?

Modena had not been damaged at all in the quake. The city was fine and everything was as normal. My friend said her children were having trouble sleeping and we were to go and eat at the famous Osteria Francescana, and I checked ahead to be sure they were open. He said yes, but that the staff were sleeping in the park.


So it was with joy that I joined my friends in supporting the locals as they went on with their work.
We had a fabulous lunch at the Hosteria Giusti in Modena. Hidden behind the salami shop is a tiny elegant restaurant. I had been ages ago and was pleased that Matteo Morandi recognized me after all these years. He has taken over running the dining room since his dad passes away 7 years ago.

The three of us ordered lots of half portions, what a great idea, and shared everything.

gnoccho fritto with salumi

eggplant with foie gras and lardo - basil with extra vecchio balsamico
perfect tortellini in broth

tagliatelle with asparagus
cotecchino with a lambrusco zabaione
marinated cold pork salad with onion jam
chocolate mousse

warm custard with candied zest
Always a memorable meal!

I won't wait so long to go back again..,

Enogastromia Giuseppe Giusti

Via Farini, 75
Reservations a MUST 

The people of Emilia Romagna are the backbone of Italy. 

There has been an online movement to help cut the losses and to sell the thousands of broken forms of parmesan cheese which were damaged during the quake. Farmers "sell" their cheese to these "cheese banks" and get their money as soon as they turn in the cheese and the bank ages it for them. Most cheeses are sold at 18 months for the youngest, then 24 months and 36 months. 

I am hoping that some huge corporation can jump in and buy a huge lot to sell in USA to help them.

I will follow up with any information on what we can do to help.


  1. I hope all goes well now for you and all in your area. I read your blog regularly and thought of you when the news came through here.

  2. Anonymous1:03 PM

    Hello... I hope Costco steps up to the plate and buys the Parma Cheese. We get the wonderful cheese in wedges that sells for eithter $13 or $15 a pound depending on which age of cheese you purchase. Costco purchase olive oil in huge quanties. I hope they help the farmers in this area. Maybe would could form our own food movement help those farmers in Italy! My vote is in....

    Thanks Judy for all your help in emailing me about a cooking class. I hope next year i can sign up for your Sicily Tour.


  3. Judy, I don't understand why we here in the US are not hearing about this?! Why? If I didn't read blogs I would not even know that an earthquake happened. I am sending prayers to you in that beautiful region, and for all of Italy, mother land of my grandparents. xo

  4. I emailed about the cheese (didn't know if they would ship to the US) and got this reply:

    Grazie per la mail,
    in seguito alle ripetute scosse del 29 e 31 Maggio 2012 l'azienda agricola La Cappelletta di San Possidonio (MO) ci ha riferito, l’ INAGIBILITA’ di tutto il complesso del Caseificio. Siamo qui dunque a dirvi, che è stata bloccata (fino a nuove disposizioni) tutta la vendita del Parmigiano che distribuisce l’azienda la Cappelletta.
    Per questo motivo, tutti gli ordini arrivati fino ad ora saranno annullati.
    Non sarà più possibile, fino a nuove disposizioni, effettuare ordini.
    Non sappiamo se e quando il formaggio sarà nuovamente disponibile.
    Tutte le informazioni (anche per un'eventuale rimessa in vendita del parmigiano) saranno aggiornate costantemente sul nostro sito www.arcimodena.org

    Ringraziandovi per il vostro gesto solidale, ci scusiamo per il disagio.


    so, apparently, individuals cannot purchase any at this time :-(

  5. Thanks, Judy for another wonderfully informative, and in this case, touching post. And I must say your food pix are truly tempting. As always, one can rely on you for the best.

  6. I hope things are well in your area now; the photos looks so beautiful and yes peaceful.

  7. Yes, it would be wonderful if a corporation here in the U.S. could buy the parmesan. Perhaps the large corporation that owns Olive Garden (I believe they have a cooking school in Italy) could purchase the cheese. It is a great idea. Maybe with all your wonderful food contacts you could make it a reality. Best, Lisa

  8. Lisa- would't that be fab!!!
    olive garden uses the Rocca della Macia space in Chianti for their "cooking classes". But immagine they do their own recipes.

    There are several large stores that sell great parmesan cheese, such as whole foods - perhaps Costco? anyone have contacts?

  9. Very moving post Judy. Thanks for sharing during this difficult time.

  10. We had visited the Bologna/Moderna area last May, so I was saddened to hear about the earthquakes around here. We enjoyed a lovely foodie tour of a small balsamic vinegar place, a Parmigiano Reggiano factory and a small restaurant in the countryside thanks to Alessandro of Italian Days Food Experiences. What a beautiful and rich area! I hope everything will work out for the best for the people living here.

  11. Those tortellini really do look exquisite! I can just imagine the taste…