Ditta Artigianale setting up in the Oltrarno (Florence)

 

Everyone knows that Italy does espresso…but does she always do it well? To me, that answer has always been questionable especially in Florence. What????? Is she criticizing Italian espresso??? Well, kinda!  Continue reading

Observations (mostly food related) by an American in Florence

 

Really?

Really?

My little hiatus from Florence is coming to an end, and without surprise, I have new observations from being in the states to share. Someone recently asked me “do you feel a little Italian or just like an American in Italy?” Continue reading

Elk Ragu’ Tagliatelle and Wine Pairing

This big ol’ blob of red mush is one of my favorite things to make in the winter: ragu’. When serving ragu’, you “should” toss the sauce with all the pasta before plating. I on the other hand like mixing it all in the serving plate, I guess its that kid in me that enjoys playing with food. Instead of beef and/or pork, I used Elk sausage I found at Uli’s in Pike Place Market in Seattle (since I’m visiting for the winter). Why Elk? Out of curiosity, of course! I’ve been happy with wild boar in the past and wanted to experiment. If you are in Italy, you can try deer or cervo for a similar game-y effect.

Oh! And did you know that there is a deeper meaning to the term: ragu’? According to The Gourmet Wino, “the word ragu is a derivative of the french verb ragouter which means “to stimulate appetite.” In Italy, “Ragu” it is a staple tomato based meat sauce cooked/simmered for hours with celery, onions, carrots, wine and garlic and is traditional to the north of Italy, but also in the central region of Tuscany.”

Regions have variations on ragu’, like in Bologna they are known to add a cinnamon stick to the pot’ o meat and in Tuscany, there are historical variations such as “ragu bianco” which was common during Medieval and Renaissance times, made without tomatoes since tomatoes did not become strongly apart of the Italian food repertoire until later. Continue reading

Italian Craft Beer- 5 bottles to try…for Eater!

Craft treats at Beerhouse Club in Florence, Italy. Photo Credit: Sam Engel

Craft treats at Beerhouse Club in Florence, Italy. Photo Credit: Sam Engel

As you may have noticed if you are a follower/reader, I have been writing for awesome publications such as Eater. A most recent one includes a quick run-down on the craft beer scene in Italy and some of the most interesting bottles in production.

Read up on the full story here for eater.com Continue reading