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tv   Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy  CNN  April 4, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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so bologna, i have not been here for a very long time. very happy to be back. the people of bologna have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but i have arrived in a moment of brief normality. when lockdown has been lifted, restaurants have been filling up and masks are optional outside. bologna is an ancient university town. the oldest in the western world, brought to life by students flaunting their youth. this bread, it's an of a. i'm all alone in a hotel. why would i want to do that? this food is rich. some bold souls whisper this is the best in italy.
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>> smell, smell, smell. the smell something unbelievable. >> i am stanley tucci. i am italian on both sides and i am traveling across italy to discover how the food in each of this country's 20 regions is as unique as the people and their past. >> anger, religion and death. it has everything in it. i am here to discover why this is home to the gastric superstars of the nation's food. >> this is made with love. >> and how people here really know how to wait for the best things in life. >> slow, slowly, slowly arrive at the point of excellence. >> right. >> and because we've waited -- >> 25 years. >> wow, really is good. oh, my god. i don't have to. so good. it's just one of the most delicious things on earth.
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for a greedy man, this place is the gigantic deli of my dreams. but don't fret, i have the metabolism of a teenager. the capitol of bologna, it's a wealthy region that straddles italy and is cocooned between the adrianic sea. it's a lush land of fertile valleys stuffed with livestock and billowing soft wheat. no wonder, it's also bred one of the world's best chefs. buckle up. i know you can only see a blur with glasses, but that's me in the car tearing around the roads of the provence in the tender care of a man that likes fast
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cars, slow food. he's got three of them. >> next time do it faster. >> i love this place. >> he's taking me behind the scenes to the dairy, which is about 30 miles outside bologna. i'm playing it cool. >> whoa. really? jesus christ! >> this is where he has been coming to get his beloved parmgano. this is a very, very small production, and extremely high quality. >> milk is king here. the white cows are unique to the
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valley of the river poe that runs through this region. >> it's like a magic act. >> they invented this. >> 3, 2, 1. open. >> smell it. smell it. the smelling is unbelievable. the smell is unbelievable. >> oh, my god. that's too much. wow. >> [ bleep ]. >> i mean, yes. geno is up at 5:00 a.m., pouring
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the milk in the copper vats, and running them salt baths that last for 19 days. >> you have to love the ingredients. you have to caress them. >> what i'm going to do with you. you are just born. this is the cheese of this morning. taste it. it's unbelievable. it's so good. it's like -- it's like a mozzarella, no? >> yeah. >> less intense. >> so good. oh, my god. >> 550 liters of milk suppressed into this every morning. >> the white cows were nearly forsaken for the utters of
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foreign cows. >> how long will you age this? >> 36 months. 40, and 50. >> one of his iconic dishes is five ages, which is, as the name suggests, a love letter to this cheese. >> in my mind it was my idea of expressing with one ingredient. actually the ingredients were two, parmesan and time. >> yeah. time. >> wait, wait, grow slow like a tree. >> it just gets more intense -- >> yeah, more and more pleasure. >> the people here have perfected the aging process to create iconic products from simple quality ingredients, and nothing is wasted. geno will use the liquid way to
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produce risotto. when the milling is coming up, it is ready. if you are feeling hungry already, you may want to close your eyes at this point. [ speaking foreign language ] >> i know. i know. >> oh, my god. it's so fresh that you can taste the grass and herbs the cows have eaten. >> it's so good. it makes you feel like you're a child. >> mama mia. >> i have never had it like that, no. jesus.
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put that in my car. thank you so much. >> he is whisk me back to the outskirts. because of the pandemic his team led by canadian chef jessica has gotten used to cooking outside. >> the cut that we have this morning is going in there, burning pizza heaven, and we are going to be aggressive cooking to get the crunchiness on top. >> ingredients this good. simplicity is key. local wood is piled high in the hot oven, and the is stacked high. >> a little bit of fire and that's it. >> you trained with him, and did you know italian before?
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>> no, i was with the cooks so i was pretty much saying bad words the whole time. >> almost ready to taste, huh? >> oh, with the balsamic. oh, come on. this is like the crunchy part of the lasagna. this is exactly the same. >> that everybody fights over. >> yeah. that's beautiful. beautiful. >> oh, my god. >> it's so good. >> you can't stop eating this kind of stuff. >> it's almost a dessert, huh? >> the vinegar with the honey. oh, wow. wow. that's delicious.
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leaders of the sardines movement, that's a rebel alliance by the way, not something bad that happens after eating too much oily fish. he is a political hero and he loves food. >> nice to meet you. >> the sardines mobilized when right wing politicians campaigned here in the winter of 2019 during regional elections. >> it was last november, he was launching the campaign and he is from bologna, and we said let's organize something different, and so we found out the trick was the sardines, you need to be like sardines, be crowded like sardines, and we wanted, like, 6,000 people to be in the middle of the square. finally the 20,000 people came.
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>> 20,000 people showed up? >> yeah. jesus. >> and the picture of the square crowd was the most famous picture of the day. >> it really created a movement. it was from the far south to the north. >> and then he -- >> he lost the elections. >> will you go into politics? >> i don't think so because i dress like a normal guy, and my hair is disastrous. >> i can't help thinking that this dashing italian man is too modest, but it's lunchtime and he knows the best deli in town, so i'm saying nothing. >> oh, my god. if one goes to heaven, this is probably it. all right, let's go get some. we're honing in on the cold cuts.
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one can't have too much in this life. this city has been a multicultural melting pot, and this pork sausage has german influences baked into it. >> it's a lot. but i am starving and you are starving, too. >> spiked with peppercorns, and there's polka dots of sweet fat from pig's throats. back in the 17th century, this was one of the most protective products with an official degree from the church, outlining the recipe and ingredients. this dates back to the 15th century. >> really? >> you could buy wine, but not food.
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it was only to meet people, they played cards and talked about politics. [ speaking foreign language ] >> that's so good. that's what gave birth to bologna. it's also known as bologna sausage, and give me the original any day. it's so silky, garlicky and sweet. >> i love it. food and politics go hand and hand for him and his sardines, and they are now volunteering to feed the city's most vulnerable during the pandemic. rowtini is the founder of these kitchens.
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>> oh, wow. >> fresh egg pasta made from soft wheat is a great specialty in this region. these tortellini has been feeding this group for over 500 years. food and love combine as volunteers take supermarket donations and whip them up into little parcels of joy, and the smell is incredible. [ speaking foreign language ]
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demand has doubled since the pandemic. there are daily takeouts for 500 people. >> you are? >> elsa. [ speaking foreign language ]
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you have such good taste in clothing. >> i'm on the trail of another gastronomic superstar of the region. this is not just any vinegar. it's black gold. >> claudia, is it your family -- >> it's actually my family. down to the generation, and they
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are 17. >> what year is that? >> 1605. >> more than 400 years. >> incredible. >> yes, this family has been making vinegar since 1605, when the mayflower pilgrims were still in sunday school. >> so both red and white grapes? >> the nature of the grapes led to the happy accident of vinegar. they turn more easily into vinegar than fine wine. >> i keep hearing it's a trait where you take something that is not quite what it should be and turn it into something special. >> yeah, it becomes even super special. >> let's go and look at them. >> but we're not heading down to a damp wine cellar, we are headed upstairs to an attic, the traditional place to aging vinegars, so they are exposed to changing temperatures.
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>> we are actually in the heart of the collection that we've got. this says from 1600. >> yeah, the older the better. balsamic vinegar, it will be eaten up, and so in each of these there's liquid from 250 years ago. you will find your own balance with the taste, and that's handed down for generations. >> that's incredible. >> this tool, it's actually moving from vinegar from the first to the second. >> he is playing the wise vinegar taster. >> yeah, the thickness -- >> yeah, it's like a ruby red. yeah.
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>> let's drink. or let's taste. i've cracked. enough of the history. let's do it. i am thirsty for vinegar. you actually taste on it a spoon. the flavor is very long in your mouth. >> oh, that really is good. >> you tasted the king of the vinegars, 25 years old, and you imagine one liter of this, you need to start with 100 kilos of grapes. >> whoa. it's soft and sweet. and acidy.
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everything. i remember when it started to become popular and people were using it on everything, on actually too many things. >> never too many. >> traditional balsamic vinegar is just one of the staggering 44 protected food products in amelia. this place has more than any other region in italy. how are they effortlessly producing all of these delicacies. to find out i am heading to the hills to meet my friend again. what do you have? >> and his wife, who runs their incredible restaurant. >> many different ingredients come out of what you have available in your backyard. >> right. >> to discover the secrets of why why this area is famously known as food valley.
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the poe river is the longest in italy and its fertile flood plain has made this a powerhouse. the extraordinary food valley lies between the poe river in the north and the mountains to the south. >> it's hazy today. when you look at a place like parma, the cross wind blows all the way down into the valley and the valley heads out to the sea and creates a microclimate. >> it's about the fog. oh, fog. thanks to you. >> the fog and humidity makes the difference in all of this. the humidity that comes from
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this, and it's cool but not too cool and it creates the perfect microclimate. >> even the region's beloved fresh pasta is explained by the humid climate, which means soft wheat can grow here. a very different breed from the heat loving dried durham wheat of the south. >> if you don't believe in god you believe in tortellini. you understand, it's like a religion. >> he's obsessive about the local foods that shaped his childhood. >> if you check my blood, there's balsamic vinegar, and in the summer it's alive, and in the winter it goats to the vat and it stays there and relaxes for six months and then the spring is coming and it's getting to life again and again and again and again, slow, slowly, slowly arrive at a point of excellence.
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>> right. >> so the food of amelia can only be made here because of the unique geography and climate. i promise to never complain about fog again. and now, putting you in control of your financing. at carvana, get personalized terms, browse for cars that fit your budget, then customize your down payment and monthly payment. and these aren't made-up numbers. it's what you'll really pay, right down to the penny. whether you're shopping or just looking. it only takes a few seconds, and it won't affect your credit score. finally! a totally different way to finance your ride. only from carvana. the new way to buy a car. (people) fit us as we are. fit me foundation from maybelline new york. oil-free formula... won't clog pores. natural matte look in 40 shades. 97% found their fit. fit me matte + poreless. only from maybelline new york.
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this is the land of pigs, beautiful pigs. i have come to the second biggest city in the region, parma, and these pigs are used to make something that i could never resist. pruscutto. i didn't know there were this many pigs in the world. there aren't any more. this is a shrine to piggy's past, and for something so heavenly, this ham has it's own guardian angels.
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i have slipped on this cute outfit to join the ham quality inspectors. even my nostrils are salivating. salt is the only preservative allowed before the hams are aged for 14 months. but that wafty air is doing its magic. [ speaking foreign language ] >> they are skewing the hams to check for quality. [ speaking foreign language ] >> this may seem like the best job in the world, but it's also deadly serious. dna tests are now mandatory to check the pedigree of the pigs
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because of wide-spread corruption. back in 2017, a criminal racket was exposed, hustling fake hams. a huge operation by the fraud squad involving phone tapping and undercover surveillance resulted in the ring leader being jailed. the industry is still reeling from the scandal. nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you, too. >> i am meeting an italian journalist that brought the story of the biggest food fraud in the nation's history to tv screens. >> it's what should be protected. >> tell me everything. >> breeders started importing sperm from danish pigs. both the sperm and the pigs. >> why the danish pigs? >> because there are more
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piglets and the second reason is they produce more meat. breeders have larger margins of profits, and the product costs at least twice more than a normal product. >> under the strict rules of this protected product, the pigs must be of pure italian blood stock. >> they were just cheating? >> just cheating, yes, and also compromise those who are still producing to the traditional rules. >> was there one in particular that blew the whistle? >> we had a source that approached us with the documents, and then we started a research. >> how many different breeders were doing this? >> dozens of breeders. >> dozens of them? wow. >> yes. >> one of parma's deli owners. but will i, a devoted foodie know a fake side by side with
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his premium product. >> it's like a religion, not a job. the pork here in parma is everything. >> fantastic. >> when we are babies, we grow up with this more than the milk. this is all my life. >> your whole life? >> yeah. >> what is this one? >> this is 26 months. >> 26? >> yeah. this is amazing. this is my favorite, because he's very fat. we will taste both because it's incredible. >> oh, yeah. >> here you can taste the fats. >> here you can taste the meat. >> more nutty. >> exactly. >> he has wrestled up a platter of the two, but will the danish
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fake be the trick. >> this is just dry meat. this is made for the people that want to go to the gym and work up muscles. >> he has a point about the taste of fitness fanatics. a lack of visible fat has definitely been part of the allure of the danish pig. >> nothing. >> it's acidy. doesn't do it for me, though. >> i can't believe people were buying it. >> yeah, look at this. this is made with love. it's different than the others. this is amazing. look at this. >> that's beautiful. >> another planet.
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>> as soon as it hits your tongue, it's instantaneous. that's what we all know and love. this is an inteloper. >> when that scandal happened, you were disgusted by it, because you can't let the integrity of this disappear because it's one of the most delicious things on earth. antibacterial can i have both? new dove care & protect body wash eliminates 99% of bacteria and moisturizes for hours two for one! can i keep it? new dove care & protect, zero compromise! to prove our aa battery
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spaghetti bolognese any longer. everybody is convinced they know what should be in this recipe, so i'm heading east to the birthplace of italy's culinary godfather to sniff out its roots. joined with the wealthy cities of amelia in the 1940s to create the region, and the town here is home to the museum, a shrine for a food lover like me. at the end of the 19th century, a 71-year-old businessman wrote the first cookery book to unify italy's regional specialties into a cohesive national cuisine. his book was a hit and his mail box was soon jammed with recipes for the next edition.
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>> literally one of my favorite things in the world. >> barbara is a disciple that assists in the cookery classes here at the museum, and happily barbara has invited me to her place to try his version of the first recorded recipe of the meat sauce. >> welcome to my house. >> it's beautiful. four italians, his book, science in the kitchen and the art of eating well is their second bible. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> that is fantastic. >> 1952. >> small? >> small. a quarter of onion, and a carrot. this is for me. and we chop it up. >> i think what is interesting about the recipe is so many chefs have so many different versions of this, and some say use tomato, don't use tomato, and use milk, don't use milk. you use nutmeg. it shouldn't be too tomatoey, i would think. >> there is this recipe, and only butter. oil was expensive. >> in his recipe, the meat delicate veal and salty bacon are cooked at the same time.
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>> you don't cook that first? >> no. >> i have never done that. maybe that's why mine is not so good. >> i brown it and add broth and flour, and nutmeg. >> but like most cooks in this region, there's only one pasta barbara would consider using, and it ain't spaghetti, folks. [ speaking foreign language ] >> it grips the sauce far better than dried southern spaghetti ever could. >> aged for 24 months. i'm ready. >> oh, thank god. don't judge me, i had to wait ten tortuous minutes for it to cook. it's a lean veal, so it's much quicker ragu to make than a slow
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cooked beef bolognese. >> oh, yes, yes, yes. cheers. >> cheers. >> good? >> very good. so good. this is what i have been trying to do at home, but i have never achieved it. now i know how to do it, because of you, yes, yes. >> thank you. >> will you marry me? oh, your husband is here. forget about it. it visibly reduces wrinkles, firms, and brightens. revitalift triple power moisturizer from l'oréal. now the #1 serum brand in america.
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♪ i've traveled further into roam magna to the coastal town. this place is where ordinary italians come to play, flirt, and tan by the sea. this is really beautiful. often looked down on by the rich cities of emilia, this is an unpretentious working class playground built on the rubble left by second world war bombs. obviously, i am here to eat. director federico fellini is rimini's most famous son, and it's his films that have given the world the iconic romantic
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image of italy that persists today and casts italians as a fiery, passionate people driven by their hearts and stomachs. fellini's childhood here in rimini was the inspiration for his unbearably sexy movies. i'm meeting his niece, francesca fellini. >> fellini's autobiographical movie "amarcord" about a young boy growing up in fascist 1930s and the tensions in and out of
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the home. >> he was very particular about his food so that when he would come here and visit, he would ask -- >> my mother, my sister of federico. >> to cook very specific things. >> of course. he would take the phone and i'm just arriving in a few hours in rimini. i want a -- and my mom, that was great. >> even when he game a world class director, fellini still craved the simple dishes of his hometown. he said life is a combination of magic and pasta. >> federico would adored this kind of place, this kind of restaurant. >> so francesca is taking me to a local place where they still make specialties he loved like cappeletti in brodo, pasta parcels traditionally eaten in broth on christmas day. >> can i introduce you to
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alessandra, the queen of the pasta in romagna. >> alessandra, it's nice to meet you. are you angry? >> yes. >> cappeletti. >> like a priest's head? >> yes. >> rural romagna was under the control of the papacy for centuries, so it's not surprising that this pasta refers to the catholic cardinals' jaunty hats. >> all the elements are very poor, flavor. >> wow. >> they are good eggs. it's important that is very thin. >> you almost want to be able to see your hand through it, right?
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>> yes. >> beautiful. oh, i see. >> the priest hats. >> alessandra is also making strozzapreti, or priest choker, a specialty born of necessity and poverty using just water, flour, and a little salt. >> every cut is perfect. >> would choke with this pasta. >> that's funny. >> it has everything in it.
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revolution, anger, religion, and death. >> and death. >> in a plate of pasta. fantastic. so. >> cappeletti in broth. you have to try it. something special. >> oh my god! that's great. >> you have -- >> hopefully we're not going to choke. oh my god, the only reason you would choke on them is if you ate them too fast because they were so good. >> it's really full of emotion. >> yeah, because you used to
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come here, right? >> yes. >> we're ending the day with an aperitif at a federico haunt, the grand hotel. >> a magician in my life. >> the past of romagna general straights how ingenious the people of this region are. >> cheers. >> the unique climate, some strict rules, and a few simple quality ingredients are all they need to conjure up a kind of magic. >> bellissimo. >> and create incredible dishes that are famous the world over. ♪ i have driven in italy, quite a bit. but i did say to one guy when i was doing a movie, people don't really stop at stoplights that much. he goes no, no, no. the stoplight is just a
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suggestion. there is nowhere on earth quite like tuscany. the land is idyllic. the art is divine, and the food is out of this world. >> oh my god. that just melts in your mouth. >> i'm stanley tucci. i'm fascinated by my italian heritage. so i'm traveling across italy to discover how the food in each of these 20 regions is as unique as the people and their past. the creations of famous tuscans are known the world over. >> mick anglo, i think if he were to walk around today, he would be able to walk around florence. it hasn't changed. >> but it's the hands of the ordinary people that have crafted the incredible food here. >> it's like christmas in your mouth. >> yeah. >> this is a place built on human ingenuity, mind-boggling


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