Where to get cow gut sushi in Florence for Vice Munchies

That's my article!

That’s my article!

Hello, readers! I’ve been really busy this summer well with leading tours, battling mosquitoes, traveling (I owe this blog a post on Venice) and other amazing things like living life!

I’ve also been getting things done while no one is looking such as starting to write for Vice’s food channel Munchies! In short, I’m pretty stoked to write for them. Mario Batali recently shared his favorite foodie blogs and instagram accounts and listed Munchies as a regular food account he follows.

As the name of my blog denotes, I have a curious appetite. I am not shy to try anything (I picked up and moved to Italy ferchrissake!) and am curious about everything authentic, including the bizarre. In Florence, there is a restaurant I really love for its strange offerings of Tuscan fare twisted with all things offal (ahem, animal innards). Read up on my article for Vice Munchies to learn about this offal eatery in the center of Florence and where you can get cow gut sushi in the former red light district: http://munchies.vice.com/articles/the-offal-osteria-is-putting-the-guts-back-into-florences-former-red-light-district

sushi il magazzino 2

In your offal trust,

The Curious Appetite

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Lo Sverso in San Lorenzo- new craft bar in Florence

Rum and Lime on the left, Negroni on the right and an awesome barman lurking in the back

Rum and Lime on the left, Negroni on the right and an awesome barman lurking in the back

Ah! Yes! The craft bar scene is finally making a decent presence in Florence! Since I moved in 2012, I have noticed craft brew pubs pop up and that made my Seattle soul glimmer with hope. Hope in that this over-termed “Renaissance Pearl” is getting with the times. In Seattle, I was constantly charmed by craft cocktail spots like Canon Seattle and Knee High Stocking Co. and that love affair with bitter imbibements came to a screeching halt when I arrived in Florence. I missed my bitter old man drinks for my tortured gluttonous soul. Little by little, I discovered bitter bars but only to be heartbroken when one of my favorites (THE Bitterbar, where I actually practiced performing a wedding at) closed their doors to a likewise closed city of Chianti sluggers. Florentines have their habitual ways and it has been my observation that they are not very warm to anything beyond the ordinary. Unless they are the artsy, hipster type. Even then, these kids got lots to learn about living “avant-guarde.” Pardon the extremely opinionated banter, I warned you of my bitter old man ways. Continue reading

A Quick Guide to Food Markets of Florence

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If ever there is a day in which you need a boost in morale, a visit to a food market in Florence is always the anecdote. It is absolutely my favorite food tour to do and I feel my heart flutter any time I walk through these food treasure chests. If you really want to understand the neighborhood culture in Italy there are a few things you should always do when traveling:

1. visit a local coffee bar every morning. Pick one near where you are staying and always go there.

2. hang out at a the closest food market. people watch. observe. Continue reading

Gourmet Event in Florence: June 11th 2015

le volpe e l'uva tagliere

I know you want it…

Are you in Florence this June? Want to drink and eat with me at my absolute favorite wine bar? Join me for a night of vertical wine tasting and food pairing!

The event is showcasing the producer Poggerino in Radda in Chianti. The winemaker will be present and will be guiding the evening “vertically” from several vintages.
What is so cool about Poggerino?
Well, Poggerino has received various tips on the hat from the wine world such as being the #18th best wine in the world by The Wine Spectator in 2013 and its 2014 Riserva made it in the Slow Wine Awards and Slow Wine guidebook. They also implement organic and biodynamic methods in their vineyards and production. If “biodynamic” has always been a fuzzy mystery, you will learn first hand about this unique agricultural practice at the wine tasting.
We will taste a vertical selection of Poggerino’s Chianti Classico Riserva Vecchie Vigne (old vine reserve) and paired with gourmet crostoni, local cheeses and artisan cured meats. The tasting will also be lead by the kick-ass sommelier staff at said favorite wine bar. Don’t speak Italian? No problemo! Curious Appetite (me!) will also be there to translate for you “professional” wine drinkers who would like to come and capire what the heck is going on. Rest assured- you will each and drink well with least 5 wine tastings and pairings with each pour. Space is limited to 10, RSVP right now!
Details: Thursday June 11th 9:30pm-11:30pm Location: My favorite wine bar Cost: 25 euros ADVANCE RSVP IS REQUIRED
Contact me to RSVP- cin cin!
For any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! Like, what the heck does “RSVP” stand for?? ;)

Caffe Neri: New bakery near Ponte Vecchio, Florence

A stone's throw from Ponte Vecchio! The best pastries you will probably find in the whole area. Most eating near Ponte Vecchio is sad. Alas, no more!

A stone’s throw from Ponte Vecchio! The best pastries you will probably find in the whole area. Most eating near Ponte Vecchio is sad. Alas, no more!

In my first post “Insider Tips for Eating in Florence” from the series “What Giulio Says”, I mentioned a rockin’ bakery/pastry shop Caffe Neri in the Castello area of Florence, well Sesto Fiorentino to be more precise. Admittedly, this bakery while fantastic, artisan and lead by one of the best bakers in the region (Simone Bellesi) is quite far for the average tourist. Even though I am a firm supporter of getting out of the historical center, that may not be a realistic goal for most people especially if they are only here for a few days. Continue reading

Where to eat in Florence during “la pausa”

Italy, I love you. But we gotta talk about this pausa thing.

Italy, I love you. But we gotta talk about this pausa thing.

After years of coming to terms with culture clashes and accepting that things are simply done differently in Italy, I still from time to time cannot get over how inconvenient the Italian pausa is. La pausa is the break. The break that is a total pain in the back for travelers and locals alike. Italy, I love you for everything- the good and the bad. You are what I consider the closest thing to a husband- I take you for what you are. I can only hope you can forgive the following post as seemingly insensitive criticism to your cultural quirks. Continue reading

What Foods are in Season Now in Florence

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It sounds a bit strange to say what’s in season in Florence since produce that comes into Florence comes from farms and gardens around Tuscany. I suspect that one market in Florence may differ from a market in the Maremma in southern Tuscany. And since I am here, for simplicity’s sake- we will stick to Florence.

Why is it useful to know what is in season in Florence? Well, if you are traveling in Florence this may help your dining decisions. I’m a huge fan of “when in Rome” and eating what is traditionally around.

Also- just a few notes. Continue reading

Girls Gotta Drink (and Eat) in Florence with Curious Appetite

The Curious Appetite, in insta-action!

The Curious Appetite, in insta-action! Carb-loading…

In addition to blogging my deepest darkest thoughts about food, wine and Italy on this blog- The Curious Appetite leads food and wine tours! I have recently had the pleasure to host a few blogger friends on unique and “curious” offerings and this is what they had to say about it.

First up in Valerie Quintanilla from Girls Gotta Drink (Going to Piedmont? REALLY into wine? This is your gal!)

Continue reading

What Giulio Says…What Tourists Should Know about Eating in Florence

I know it’s been a while since I announced the new (and amazing) “What Giulio Says” series- but Giulio has been busy being awesome (like touring Southern Italy with his cool band) and I’ve been busy traveling around Istanbul and Rome foie gras’ing myself (eating way too much) as usual. We got to talking finally and he wanted to give some tourists advice about eating well in Florence and how to spot crap restaurants. He only agreed to give me 5 tips, I asked for 10, so he compromised and gave me a 6th.

If you’re a tourist in Florence…how can you eat well- and not get ripped off? Here is what Giulio says… Continue reading

Aperitivo Snacks- Mozzarella with Truffle Honey and Pine Nuts

One hope in my gourmet work, is that I promote the revival of some food traditions that are seemingly becoming garbage, such as Aperitivo. Why is it becoming garbage- there are more and more bars boasting Aperitivo more than ever. Precisely!

To me, the concept of Aperitivo is to have a snack and a light appetite-stimulating drink (socially) before dinner. Aperitivo is not dinner and I shun the current wave of “aperi-cena” Continue reading