The annual Italian food fest Pitti Taste is back to tempt taste buds. Presenting its 16th edition, Fortezza da Basso will host over 500 contemporary food producers as they whip up their best speciality foods.
This edition of Taste will focus on pasta: the quintessential Italian food staple, with talks, presentations and panel discussions (in Italian) hosted by chefs, critiques, writers and other crème de la crème members of the Italian food industry. Highlights will also include Il Forchettiere Awards dedicated to the best of Tuscan gastronomy. These prestigious awards will delegate dish of the year, green restaurant of the year, signature cocktail of the year and other honors.
“Taste has become a beacon, a point of reference for all quality production in our country, and every year there are more and more companies who ask to participate, given the success of buyers and the quality of the exhibitors edition after edition”, states Pitti Taste founder Davide Paolini. “But we set ourselves a limit, and this is where Taste’s greatest quality lies: having precise selection limits, without becoming a fair for the masses.”
To wash everything down, alcoholic bitters will also have a spotlight in the special spirits area of the event. Peter in Florence will be pouring out their Peter in Florence Cocktail Negroni. Giving a bite will be their London dry gin that is entirely produced in Italy using over 14 botanicals, with a focus on the Iris flower as an homage to the Florentine symbol dating back to the ninth century.
On the other end of the liquid vices, indulge in a smaller cup of something strong with the Florence brunch staple Ditta Artigianale as they present their exclusive Candy Geisha coffee roast. This Columbian blend has an intricate 3 step sourcing process that leaves the coffee with a fruity and floral aroma.
For those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, Pasticceria Mearini presents their newest collection of cookies and pastries, Le Formine. Each of these sugary shortbread delights are covered in chocolate and decorated by hand. Taking after animals and other fun characters, these are the perfect take home treat for kids or celebrations on the horizon.
Fuori di Taste
The food fun extends outside of the Fortezza walls. Throughout the city, local restaurants offer Taste-themed dinners. Neapolitan pizzeria Starita will present a cooking show with founder and star pizza maker Antonio Starita on February 4 at their location on via S. Gallo n. 2R, from 7 to 9pm and again from 9 to 11pm. Starita will spill all of the secrets on their classic marinara and their Montanera pizza, which is a fried and filled pleasure.
No meal is complete without a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Luckily L’Associazione Produttori Olivicoli Toscani (APOT) aims to please this year with a tasting event on February 3 at Il Borro Tuscan Bistro from 6 to 8pm. Guests can enjoy a range of tuscan olive oils while learning about the production process and benefits of how it gets from tree top to topping.
For the early risers, Caffè Corsini offers a special Sicilian inspired breakfast from February 4-6 at 9 to 11:30am. Visitors can enjoy a spinoff of the summer granita with pastries filled with coffee cream.
There are a list of restaurants and cafes to try out during the Taste events to get in on the action.