FOOD + WINE

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

FOOD + WINE

Food fit for an emperor

What do you see when I say ‘cucumber’? Thin green slices, to put on your face and eyelids after a hard night out or a long day broiling on the beach? Thin green slices on thinly sliced bread, melting in your mouth at tea time? Thin green slices,

FOOD + WINE

Light whites from Liguria

Less than one-half of one percent of Italy’s wine is produced in Liguria. Some may say that this beautiful coastal region is mainly tourist country—with the ever-popular Cinque Terre to explore—not wine country. And that wine produced there is rather pricey. So,

FOOD + WINE

Please pass the flowers!

Summer is around the corner, and we can all feel it. Flowers are everywhere at this time of year, and I’m not speaking only of gardens or window boxes. In Italy, they grace tables as well.  At a recent dinner, after admiring the stunning roses, wisteria and

FOOD + WINE

Cool whites for summer nights

Yes, the Piedmont region is famous for its bold, red wines. However, it also is home to some well known, and some lesser-known, wonderful whites. The cooler climate in Piedmont favours the crisp, soft and acidic taste of these light Italian wines. More importantly, they offer a vast array

FOOD + WINE

How not to drink wine in Italy

Whether relaxing during a mid-day siesta or unwinding after a long day at work, Italians delight in sitting back and sipping a good drink. Though you may imagine them swirling a glass of Chianti or pouring a bottle of Nastro Azzurro, Italians have in fact been mixing up the

FOOD + WINE

The art of aperitivo

The season that graces Florence with wisteria, iris and roses has finally arrived. It’s spring! Every café, restaurant and bar is throwing open its doors and moving chairs and tables outside to fill each square inch of available space. Why?  Because it’s time to

FOOD + WINE

Artichoke chat

My first memory of eating an artichoke is an image of my mother showingme how to bite down on the leaf and pull it through my front teeth.  I must have been very young, because myteeth marks were tiny compared to the others in that great heap of discardedleaves

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In need of attention

It must be hard to be an excellent red wine but get virtually ignored because your ‘big brothers’ are so well known. This is the dilemma faced by the Barbera, Dolcetto, and Roero wines of the Piedmont region that are so overshadowed by the Barolo and Barbaresco wines

FOOD + WINE

Fish-soup fountains

We all know Piazza Santissima Annunziata because of Brunelleschi’s beautiful Ospedale degli Innocenti, with its magnificent porticoed colonnade and Della Robbia’s blue-glazed terracotta tondos with cherubic babes wrapped in swaddling clothes. But next time you go there, stop a while to admire more carefully the

FOOD + WINE

Homage to humble winter vegetables

For cooks, one of the true pleasures of life in Italy is the bounty of beautiful fruits and vegetables that are so readily available throughout the year. I am always fascinated by the artfully arranged displays set up by vendors, particularly those on street corners. My local ambulante di frutta

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

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

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

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