Florence Food

The Italian cuisine is known for its diversity at regional level, abundance in taste and seasonings but its main characteristic is its simplicity. That’s why Italian chefs count on the quality of the ingredients rather than the complexity of the preparation.

The Florentine cuisine is also simple and abundant, so the perfect way to discover our rich and fascinating culinary tradition is through our Food Walking Tour. This tour will accompany you into the discovery of the most popular dishes you can find in the cradle of Renaissance. Lasting 3,5 hours, the food walking tour includes 8 tasting stops and takes role in the historic city centre of Florence, in particular our guides will bring you in the neighborhood of the most famous two-level food market:  San Lorenzo Market.

Keep on reading and discover what delicacies you can find once arrived in Florence.

COFFEE:

espresso, corto, lungo, americano, macchiato, cappuccino etc. From different qualities of coffee, once toasted and mixed together you can obtain the most appreciated aroma. Two are the species you can find the most: arabica and robusta.

100% Arabica

100% Arabica

100% Robusta

100% Robusta

The first one with a low level of caffeine, an oval shape and a delicate and fragant aroma; the second one with a higher level of caffeine, a rounded shape and a intense and rich taste.

Which one is the best? Taste both of them and choose the one that fits perfectly your taste. Then learn how to use a Moka and which type of coffee is the most expensive and why!

TRUFFLES:

Truffle Sandwiches

Truffle Sandwiches

Do you love or hate them? Very precious and hard to find, truffles are a specialty in Tuscany. Waiting for the perfect weather and the right humidity of the soil, lagotto dogs are ready for the truffle hunting. In Florence you have the possibility to taste some sandwiches with a special cream. Characterised by a strong scent, black truffles are one of the ingredients of the secret recipe used for the cream. P.s. Don’t try to ask the secret recipe!

PASTRIES:

Millefoglie

Millefoglie

Bigné

Bigné

Two types of pastries will be served to you: Bigné and Millefoglie.

The bigné, consisting of a little rounded dough filled with cream, is considered as one of the most delicious pastries and the ideal to satisfy young and old.

The millefoglie, instead, is composed of puff pastry layers alternating with layers of custard cream. Their sweetness is indescribable and only once tasted you can understand.

WINE:

White and Red wine tasting

White and Red wine tasting

Wine and food pairing

Wine and food pairing

Continue with a wine tasting: white and red. Discover the delicacy of two typical Tuscan wines: the Vermentino and the Chianti classico, how to recognise the original ones and how can you pair these exceptional wines with everyday meals and cheeses.

EXTRAVERGIN OLIVE OIL AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR:

Extravirgin olive oil & Balsamic vinegar

Extravirgin olive oil & Balsamic vinegar

Beside the wine, Tuscany is also important for the production of olive oil. As per the wine, it’s important to knwo when the olive oil can be defined extravergin and depending on its freshness how to paired it with food. The same is for the balsamic vinegar. More the seasoning increases, sweeter the taste becomes.

For example: a n°12 (seasoning time) balsamic vinegar is the perfect topping for a vanilla ice cream.

CANTUCCI AND VIN SANTO:

Cantucci & Vin Santo

Cantucci & Vin Santo

These dry almond cookies are typical desserts of the Tuscan culinary tradition, especially paired with vin santo (typical dessert wine). What is the correct way to eat cantucci? Deep the cantucci into the vin santo and eat them! What a strange name for this wine! Maybe, it just comes from its common use during the Mass.

SALAME, PROSCIUTTO AND BEER:

Zafferan Beer

Zafferan Beer

Salame, prosciutto & cheeses

Salame, prosciutto & cheeses

Taste some salame and prosciutto di cinta. Curiosity: the name comes from the particular colour of the little pig. Complete the tasting with some craft beer directly from the Valdarno area. What does this beer have different from the other? One of its special ingredients is the zafferan!

FIRST COURSE DISH:

Ribollita soup

Ribollita soup

Ribollita is one of the “poor” dishes typical of Florence. It’s a soup, traditionally prepared in some areas of Tuscany, consisting in stale bread and vegetables. In Italian, ribollita means boiled more than once. This because, in the past, farmers used to cook a grand quantity of soup and then boiled it again in the next days.

GELATO:

Italian gelato

Italian gelato

The gelato, milkier than the ice cream, originally comes from Florence. The legend tells that in occasion of the wedding of Maria de’ Medici and king of France Henry IV, Bernardo Buontalenti (architect, sculptor and painter) realised sorbets mixed with cream and offered them to the guests. Only in Florence you can find the original Buontalenti flavour!

BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA:

Bistecca alla fiorentina

Bistecca alla fiorentina

Lastly, you can’t leave Florence without trying one of the most typical dish of the Tuscan cuisine: the bistecca alla fiorentina. It simply consists of a t-bone steak grilled over a wood or charcoal fire and served very rare. Characterised by a thickly and large cut, it is suggested to consume this delicacy between two or more persons.

Truffles: yet another diamond of Italian cuisine

Italian cuisine is surprising. When you think you know everything about spaghetti, then you find out about risotto, when you mastered your art of cooking melanzane, you find about the great power of basil. Truffles are just another diamond of Italian cuisine: one of the most precious.

You might have heard about it, you might have tasted it in some fancy restaurant, you might have smelled while walking in the streets during your last visit to Italy.

Italian truffle

If you haven’t, well this will be an important discovery for you, I am talking of another diamond of Italian cuisine: truffles! Small and yet tasty tubers belonging to the family of fungus which are found in Mediterranean soil, they are called tartufo in Italian and a sprinkle of it is enough to make any dish special! Useless to say that the best ones come from Central and Northern Italy! That’s why they can’t be left out from our Florence Food Tour!

tagliata tartufoTruffle’s taste is hard to define. The most peculiar thing is that it involves the scent of it as well: you can recognize the smell of tartufo from few meters. If a trattoria has tartufo in the menu, you will smell it in the air. If you do, please do not miss it and try a tartufo dish of the house. Truffle goes great with meat (tagliata con tartufo), tagliolini (tagliolini al tartufo), risotto, eggs and you may find also very tasty tartufo sauces for your crostini. If what you are being served doesn’t have much taste than you know that you did not get a good truffle.

Usually truffle dishes are quite costly, since this fungus is really hard to find. It grows close to trees’ roots between 5 and 30 cm below the ground. The only way to harvest it is to train hogs and dogs and to dig the earth when they find the right spot. Truffles usually grow close to poplars, oaks, hornbeams, pine trees and beeches. In Italy, the truffle hunters are treated with respect and they are admired by local communities.

italian trufflesTruffles come in different shapes and colors, from dark to light brown, wrinkled or more smooth. There are many different types but if you are not  an expert the taste will be very similar. If you come to Florence, don’t miss our Food Tour experience! You’ll get the chance to taste the famous Tuscan truffle, and this will give you just another reason to be back!

The ultimate Italian summer salad dressing

saladsSummer is coming and it is time to get fresh! Bring all of your creativity in the kitchen and start getting mad on salad! Salads are just the best solutions for fresh, easy, quick and yet nutritive lunches! Parmigiano reggiano and bresaola, mozzarella and tomatoes, rucola and cherry tomatoes…you can really create anything out of simple ingredients!

Strawberry salad dressingEver tried adding fruits to your salads? Strawberry with vinegar is just one of my favourite! Not talking about regular vinegar of course but of aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar)! One of the greatest characteristics of this specific type of vinegar, traditionally produced in the central city of Modena, is that it renders all good flavours just taste even better! Try it if you don’t believe me! During our Florence Food Tours you’ll get the chance to try aceto balsamico with cheese and strawberries and trust me it will drive your taste buds crazy!

Here you go with a simple and quick recipe for your Strawberry Salad Dressing with aceto balsamico!

Ingredients

1 cup of strawberries (5/6 big strawberries)

2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

4 tsp balsamic vinegar

Pinch of salt

Instructions

Blend the strawberries, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt in a blender or a food processor. Mix until smooth and serve it in a bowl next to your salad! You can even choose to cool it a bit in the fridge! In that case, be sure to prepare it a bit in advance and take it out right before serving the salad!strawberry salad dressing

As simple as this! Now you just have to compose your salad and pour as much vinaigrette as you like on it! I suggest a spinach, walnuts and gorgonzola salad for your first try for your strawberry salad dressing !

strawberry-salad

I have tried also this vinaigrette adding few leaves of mint and it does taste even fresher if possible! Some other options are adding poppy seeds to the dressing or a pinch of mustard!

Just experiment and find the right combination for you!  Looking forward to hearing your feedbacks!

 

Torta Fedora: the best of Tuscany

Italian culinary tradition is wide and varied: all kinds of pasta sauces, the many versions of lasagne, tasty meat stews, pizzas, and last but not least: the desserts. There are so many of them that there is always something new to taste. One of the less-known ones is Torta Fedora, a real delicatesse of Tuscan cuisine. A soft heart of puff pastry, whipped cream and sponge cake covered up with a crunchy layer of dark chocolate.

Torta Fedora

Torta Fedora

I bet we already made you drool! No despairs though, you’ll get the chance to try this tasty dessert of our cuisine during our food tours in Florence!

And in case you like it, and we bet you will, here is a simple version of this recipe that you can try at home. The only thing that you might struggle to find is the alchermes liqueur, which you can replace with any another kind of gentle and
Alchermes and Maraschino

Alchermes and Maraschino

sweet liqueur. Some versions of this cake is with maraschino, a liqueur obtained from the distillation of Marasca cherries.

Here is what you will need:

1 roll of puff pastry

1 disk of sponge cake

550 gr whipped cream

Icing sugar as required

Few spoons of milk

For the chocolate crust:

150 gr: dark chocolate

1 spoon of water

2 spoons of honey

Icing sugar as required

For the bagna (to soak the sponge cake):

65 g of water

35 g of sugar

50 ml of alchermes liquor

It would be better to prepare the sponge cake the day before or – don’t tell anyone we suggested you-  you can buy already-made one. First thing, you’ll need to bake the puff pastry. Before doing that make sure you poke few holes on it using a fork, gently brush it with some milk and sprinkle it with some icing sugar. Bake at 180° until golden brown.

While you wait for the puff pastry to bake, prepare the bagna, with which we will soak the sponge cake. Pour the water together with sugar in a small pot. Once it boils, you can leave it cooling a bit and then add the alchermes liqueur.

At this point, take the puff pastry out of the oven, cut it the same size of the sponge cake and lay the sponge cake on it. Pour the bagna all over the sponge cake and now our base is ready to be topped with a thick layer of whipped cream. Let now rest the cake in the fridge for at least few hours.

Cioccolato a pezzi

Let’s now prepare the chocolate topping. Cut the chocolate in pieces, put it together with 2 spoons of honey and a spoon of water in a small pot and let it melt in a bain-marie. Let it cool, sprinkle some icing sugar on a clean surface where you can pour the chocolate. Add icing sugar until it gets thick enough to make a ball out of it. Let it rest a bit until it becomes a malleable dough of chocolate.

At this point, place it on a long piece of baking paper and roll it out using a rolling pin. Now it is all up to you: decorate your Torta Fedora as you wish with the “chocolate papers” you made! You can also add some icing sugar if you want it to look nicer!

Torta Fedora

Well, if Torta Fedora doesn’t sound easy to make, we can assure it tastes good! Don’t miss our food tours in Florence next time you are around, during which you’ll have the occasion to ask more tips for this recipe to the local “artisans” of desserts!