Category: FOOD + WINE

Food and wine in Florence and Tuscany, including food stories, restaurant reviews and wineries.

FOOD + WINE

Where wine is pleasure

Be familiar with these italian wine indications:   VDT (Vino da tavola).  Just what it sounds like – a simple table wine.  The label can’t have a vintage year nor name the grape used to produce it.   IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). The label will have

FOOD + WINE

Il Borro: a Tuscan legacy

At the source of the Arno River lies Il Borro, a striking medieval hamlet whose origins stretch back more than a thousand years, when the area was once dominated by a fortified castle. Named for its deep yellow gorges, or borri, the region was originally inhabited by the Etruscans and

FOOD + WINE

Life on both sides of the pond: ice cream or gelato?

Ice cream here in Italy is one thing that has always interested me. Throughout my travels in Europe, I have noticed that the ice cream products are different in each country. In England they have American brands such as Ben and Jerrys, Baskin Robbins and Dreyers, but you cant buy

FOOD + WINE

A piece o’ pie

Pizza is a word that people from almost every corner of our earth know.  But is a pizza in Chicago the same as a pizza in Japan? Or is a pizza in New York the same as a pizza in Italy?  The answer is no.  In Italy,

FOOD + WINE

True Brew

Suffered a trauma, had a bad day at work or simply dragged yourself out of bed in the morning? For Brits, all these occasions and many more call for one thing and one thing only – a nice cup of tea. For someone whose most common household utterance is ‘

FOOD + WINE

Take it without a pinch of salt

One story places all the blame on the Pisans. In fact, an old Tuscan proverb declares, Meglio un morto in casa che un pisano all’uscio, which roughly translated means ‘Better a death in the family than someone from Pisa on your doorstep’. This epitomises the rivalry

FOOD + WINE

WWW means ‘wonderful weekend of wine’

The current popularity of ‘enogastronomy’- wine and food related tourism – may seem new but Italian wines have been drawing visitors since the Greeks overran the Etruscans. However, unlike food, wine in Italy in the last 35 years has changed dramatically. Around that time, Italians began to realize

FOOD + WINE

Where the wild things grow

You’re bound to have seen them in the countryside: men and women, often elderly, bent over double as they forage and pluck in fi elds and on grassy verges of roads, tossing their pickings into a sack. What are they gathering so diligently? It’s no mystery.

FOOD + WINE

Viva Vinitaly!

It’s a wine lover’s Disney World where nearly all the ‘rides’ are free. The 40th edition of Vinitaly has just concluded in Verona, and some 4,200 companies involved in the world of wine were present. Until you have been there, it’s

FOOD + WINE

The oldest fast food in Florence

Any time from about 11:30 in the morning until into the evening, small crowds of people can be seen standing around mobile kiosks on street corners or in squares dotted about the centre of Florence. With their boiling cauldrons, marble or glass counters and stools on the pavement, these

FOOD + WINE

Noble greens ar the Medici court

Cynara was a beautiful girl, with hair the color of ash (from the Latin word for ash Cinis-cineris), and Jupiter fell desperately in love with her. You know how Jupiter was. When he fell in love, he just wanted the girl and tried every trick to conquer her, despite

FOOD + WINE

Anything but cork!

There is no doubt that the standard of Tuscan wines has improved dramatically in the last two decades and that the battle between Tuscany and Piedmonte continues, as both strive for the premier accolade in Italy. However, even these excellent wines may be ‘corked’, and this can lead

FOOD + WINE

Introducing the star of starters: Fennel

The next time you walk past that white bulb with the green fronds at your grocer’s, stop and appreciate that it is one of nature’s marvels. It is both an herb and a vegetable. Almost all of the plant is edible: seeds, foliage, stalk and - with

FOOD + WINE

Tuscany’s best carnival recipes

I love Carnival in Tuscany. From the tiniest village party to the huge street parade in Viareggio, tricksters and costumes abound. Tiny children parade on Sunday afternoon along the Arno River dressed as Zorro or little princesses, while older kids run around spraying colored threads from cans and launching confetti

FOOD + WINE

Ananas Daiquiri

The following is from Ely, barman of Eby's Latin Bar. Eby's is specialised in Latin cuisine, fresh fruit drinks and other cocktails.   The most popular cocktail at Eby's Latin Bar is the Pineapple Daiquiri.   It's a vitamin-filled cocktail, made with high quality fresh

FOOD + WINE

Champagne in Italian is spelled S-P-U-M-A-N-T-E

When we think of celebrations, we think of toasting with Champagne. But isn’t every day worth celebrating? Why not drink sparkling wines more often? Why not have them throughout a meal instead of just before or after? It’s all in the bubbles: carbon dioxide forms during

FOOD + WINE

Over the Tuscan stove

Tuscany is a food lover’s paradise. Each village has a speciality worth travelling to taste -- great wines, extra virgin olive oil, artisan cheeses, organic herbs. All make great gifts to bring back home to create your own fabulous dishes and share a “Taste of Tuscany” with

FOOD + WINE

Sipping well: an Italian beverage guide

In Florence, the worth of bar (or what we would call a café) is measured by its coffee—so much so that espresso machines are made to hold an upended bag of coffee in full display so that customers can see which roaster the café uses.  

FOOD + WINE

Out With the Old

New Year’s Eve can be very dangerous in Italy; “out with the old” can mean broken plates and even larger items being thrown out of windows. So stay away from open windows! Italy is no different than many other countries in having foods which symbolise wealth

FOOD + WINE

Tiny Bubbles

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” are fine, but a favorite sound of the season is the pop of a cork from Champagne or another sparkling wine.  About 40% of ...

FOOD + WINE

Over the Tuscan stove

My husband Andrea is the happiest when I make bollito misto for the holidays the dish that keeps on giving. I like to make it the day before the meal. We begin our meal with chicken liver crostini, serve tortellini in brodo as the first course, and the boiled meats

FOOD + WINE

The Florentine’s Top Ten

10 Vino Novello   You’ve probably seen wine shops and restaurants advertising the arrival of the newest wines and maybe wondered what the fuss is all about. Vino novello tends to be quite fruity and has a very distinct sweet flavour, but is worth trying and pairing with

FOOD + WINE

Behind every great meal, there is a woman

Women chefs are an anomaly in Italy, and for that matter, in most of Europe. In North America more and more women are stirring the pot in this male dominated industry, but here in Italy, the domain of the professional kitchen still remains an impenetrable bastion for women despite the

FOOD + WINE

Flavours of the world: Florentine cuisine

There is a habit in Italy—and Florence is no exception—of talking about food while eating (“wonderful meals I’ve eaten” being a particularly frequent topic).  And if you were to ask a Florentine how important food is in the grand scheme of

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