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FOOD + WINE

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

FOOD + WINE

Savoring the seasons

Were you fortunate enough to have grown up with parents or grandparents who kept a vegetable garden? If so, you know the joy of gathering sun-warmed vegetables in their natural habitat. We who are less fortunate are obliged to pick refrigerator-cooled vegetables out of artfully contrived piles at

FOOD + WINE

Glad tidings from the kitchen

The holidays evoke an inevitable urge to cook, not that I ever need much to be inspired here in Florence. I am almost thankful that there is no Thanksgiving here in Italy, as the feasting rites of Christmas almost put me under the table. In this country, food always seems

FOOD + WINE

Deck the halls with fine vines

The Italian wine community is especially proud this year. The tasting panel at Wine Spectator, one of America’s top sources of information, sampled 13,500 wines from around the world in efforts to select this year’s ‘Top 100.’  Not only did Tuscan wines

FOOD + WINE

Guess what’s coming to dinner

Blustery winter Sundays are the perfect occasion for long and leisurely family dinners. Gabriele Vaccaro, who spends his days keep-ing things running smoothly at a local hotel, relishes his weekends when he indulges in his passion for cooking. When Gabriele is in the kitchen, his wife, three children, parents,

FOOD + WINE

Guess what’s coming to dinner

When November approaches, umbrellas crop up all over Florence.  I asked Elena Galluzzi, a busy Florentine who runs a family hotel here, what she likes to cook this time of the year.  Her answer?  ‘Hearty bean soups and stews,’ she said, ‘a truly traditional

FOOD + WINE

Foodies’ Corner: The hunt for ‘black and white’ October

Italian chefs live by the season. Every season signifies a change of the menu which reflects the produce found during each time period. For many chefs, October in Italy means truffle season. Truffles, or tartufi, date back to the times of the Greeks and Romans and were historically perceived as

FOOD + WINE

Guess what’s coming to dinner

The beach house is closed for the season. The rientro is complete and everyone is back in the city where school and work schedules once again dictate the rhythm of daily life. What’s the first thing a Tuscan cook thinks about in autumn? That’s the question

FOOD + WINE

Foodie’s corner: schicciata con l’uva

The turn of the seasons signifies many things: the beginning of a new year for academics, the emergence of a new wardrobe for the fashion world, and the end of ...

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 ...

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

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