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

In search for the best ribollita in Florence

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Ribollita in the making…

 

La Ribollita…this dish has been haunting me the last few months as I have been trying in every way to understand it. Before I get too wordy, let me explain what Ribollita is for those who may not know.

Ri-Bollita means -re-boiled. I want to cry in hysteria every time I see a poorly translated English menu’ boasting “re-boiled bread soup.” It is almost impossible to translate this dish while making it sound appetizing to the foreign masses. In Tuscan cuisine, which I harp on quite often, is based on peasant eating and not leaving any scrap behind. Tuscan bread is made without salt, and as a result it goes stale usually the next day. In order to not toss out unused bread, it was then re-purposed to many iconic dishes we eat today such as Panzanella. Continue reading

Gnam in Florence- burgers and bites in the Oltrarno

Gourmet mini-burger at Gnam's aperitivo

Gourmet mini-burger at Gnam’s aperitivo

Florence works really hard to maintain a stellar eating scene. There are new foodie places popping up constantly and small wine bars on virtually every corner. Where quality usually rings in well, the service is something to be discovered. I love being a critic, like a lot of people do. More and more legal action is being threatened against bloggers and journalists for publicly expressing their critical opinion. Yes, we have officially lost our rights to free expression. I admit that I have essentially allowed myself to be bullied. However, if you are looking for reviews on the best places to eat and drink in Florence and don’t find them on my site or around my instagram feed, that probably means that they suck. Continue reading

Istanbul- the gateway to the culinary world

Travel is the spice of life

Travel is the spice of life

Travel is a wonderful gift that curiosity has given the world. Sometimes, I sit back in awe that we have the ability to reach far distances in ever shorter amounts of time. Humans have curiosity, and this curiosity leads to innovation. It is so fascinating to see how the world has evolved and how we play our parts on earth. Continue reading

#ItalianFWT: Sicilian Cannoli and Wine Pairing

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Holy cannoli!

The only Italian my mother spoke to me growing up was cannoli. There was the occasional melanzane thrown in but mom was queen of cannoli lexicon. Tragically, because they were a bit of a mission to make, appearances were reserved for special occasions and eventually disappeared into the years of my adulthood. I only saw them rise from the ashes again when my sister got married last year. Continue reading