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FOOD + WINE

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

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

FOOD + WINE

Doing the turkey in Tuscany

Thanksgiving - il giorno di ringraziamento - is less than a week away. Whether you are in Florence as a visitor, a student, or a resident, it is likely that your plans for the day are made. If you are an American or a Canadian – or the child of one &

FOOD + WINE

Liquid gold: the wonders of ‘Olio Nuovo’

It’s olive harvest season. Time stops; nets and parachutes burst open like giant mushrooms in the November green olive orchards surrounding our city. This is where one of the world’s best quality extra virgin olive oil is produced.   Fairly out of place with every day&

FOOD + WINE

Wine and War

Since medieval days, the territorial battles between Florence and Siena have become the stuff of legend. The battle of Montaperti is still a dispute that can make blood pressure rise and cause faces to become red with indignation. The Guelphs (Florentines) and the Ghibellines (Sienese) fought out their differences in

FOOD + WINE

Stomping time in Italy

From August to November, from Italy’s mountainous north to its sunniest south, the grape harvest is under way. Once the legal time to harvest has begun – and this date varies by region – winemakers and agronomists try to select the exact moment when their grapes are perfectly

FOOD + WINE

Over the tuscan stove – time to celebrate!

Depending on the weather, August and September bring the wine harvest. And, what would a harvest be without a festival? Italy is the only country in the world where every single region makes wine. So the whole country will be celebrating. I BRAKE FOR SAGRE! The local food festivals called

FOOD + WINE

Over the tuscan stove – Notte di San Lorenzo!

August 10 is the feast day of the patron saint of the central market, San Lorenzo.  Patron saint of chefs, he was grilled to death and is often shown with the grill in his hands, and as in the photo, over open flames!   A festival is held in

FOOD + WINE

Over the Tuscan stove – you say tomato

I adore tomatoes, in all their various forms, and what better place than Italy to enjoy them! When the tomatoes come into season, it is time to celebrate!   Caprese salad with large, sliced ripe tomatoes, served with the freshest Mozzarella di Bufala, and garnished with basil, only needs a

FOOD + WINE

Sleepy Settignano’s best kept secret

A stone’s throw away from Florence, yet overlooked by most tourist itineraries, is Settignano, a largely undiscovered treasure of a town that sits quietly and tranquilly to the northeast of the city.  Although its vistas are perhaps not quite on a par to those of Fiesole, its

FOOD + WINE

Over the tuscan stove – carciofi di leo

I adore shopping at Leo’s stand. He carries only a few products, all displayed as if at Tiffany’s, with each tomato shining, melons cut open for tasting, their perfume calling out “Assaggiami” (taste me), along with the rest of the season’s best. &

FOOD + WINE

Top of the ‘Pops’ Coming to an Enoteca Near You…

Temperatures soared the last two weeks of May, but the weather wasn’t the only thing that was ‘hot.’ Hundreds of wine producers were busy showcasing their latest wares at various locations throughout Tuscany. So what was the verdict? What was hot and what was not? And

FOOD + WINE

Over the tuscan stove – Homemade liqueurs

Raised in California, I’d never seen fireflies until I moved here. I’ll never forget the first night I saw them. What a miracle! I passed the Ferragamo Villa while driving into Florence from Fiesole. It looked as though they had decorated their fields with Christmas lights.

FOOD + WINE

Over the tuscan stove – erbe toscane (tuscan herbs)

What gives the Florentine roast pork, Arista, that fabulous flavour?   Why are the roast potatoes here the best you’ve ever had?   Where can you get some of this ...

FOOD + WINE

Summer Sagras

Summer in Florence means strolls along the Arno at sunset, gelato with friends, and dinners alfresco that go late into the night. But for those willing to venture beyond the city walls, summer also means a world of Tuscan tastes and traditions—at the sagra.   Sagra is the

FOOD + WINE

Over the tuscan stove – Divine chefs and colleagues

  Cibrèo’s Yellow Bell Pepper Soup (Passato di Peperoni Gialli)   4 yellow bell peppers 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, left whole 1 red onion 1 medium carrot 1 ...

FOOD + WINE

Coffee Italian style

You would never have believed anything so simple as having a coffee could possibly be so complicated; but once you really understand Italian coffee you too will appreciate and indeed hold in great esteem the greatest of all Italian rituals - prendere un caffè (having a coffee).     What? &

FOOD + WINE

Support your local botteghe

“LA CUCINA TOSCANA” is world famous because of unique dishes and, above all, because of the care and love that goes into it’s preparation, searching for local ingredients, preparing meals ...

FOOD + WINE

Castellina

Castellina is one of the three castle towns in the heart of Chianti. From its hilltop position, it dominates the area. The area is rich in barbaric, Roman, and Etruscan history. Deriving from the Latin fons Rutilus (“clean spring”), the small village of Fonterutoli is located on the

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