The city of Bologna has been an Italian cultural hub for centuries. The value the city placed on education hundreds of years ago is what led to its cultural rise.
Because of the emphasis Bologna placed on education and the amount of powerful and influential people that resulted from it, the art of cooking got a huge boost. Preparing a delicious meal was a great way to impress an important citizen of Bologna.
You will find Bolognese cuisine (and the cuisine at Merlo on Maple) to be Italian food that relies on freshness all around. From the meats to the cheeses to the produce, fresh ingredients give the food the solid foundation it needs.