Curious Appetite

3 easy recipe ideas for artichokes

photo by Tracy Russo

In Italy artichokes are a big deal. They are beautiful, delicious and full of amazing health benefits and are extremely versatile culinarily-speaking.

Roman cuisine probably gets most of the diva attention for their thistles, and rightly so. They have plenty of culinary uses in Roman cuisine, the most famed being from the Roman Jewish repertoire, carciofi alla giudia (Jewish deep fried artichokes, traditionally served after Yom Kippur but eaten joyously by all when in season). If you are in Florence and love carciofi alla giudia, Club Culinario da Osvaldo in Santa Croce pays them due justice even if outside of Rome. Worth knowing is this artichoke currently experiencing some controversy as Israel’s chief Rabbinate declared the dish non-kosher. 

In Florence, artichokes may not have fascinating recipes steeped in deep cultural history like Rome’s, but they are nonetheless present and important to Florentine and Tuscan cuisine. They are commonly found in traditional trattorias quartered, battered and fried with a squeeze of lemon. At home they are made into sughetti (sauces) for pasta, carciofi ritti (upright artichokes doused in lemon, herbs, pancetta and garlic) and are cooked along with a variety of meat dishes, such as involtini (meat-rolls), arrosta in crosta (crusted roast meats), etc. Continue Reading

Becoming an Italian sommelier in Florence, artichokes and VinItaly

first drink/food pairing as a sommelier: Lambrusco di Sorbara with a crostino con mortadella at Enoteca Faccioli, Bologna

Hey guys! My blog has been excruciatingly quiet and is in need of some great food and drink. I hope you’ll forgive the lull!

I feel like the days slip through my fingers quicker than water and another month passes into my 30’s. Mostly good things are keeping me busy, like recently passing a final exam to quaify as an Italian sommelier. (!) Continue Reading

Where to Eat in Florence for Easter (Pasqua and Pasquetta)

sorry, bah babes. You’re what’s for lunch and dinner this weekend

(UPDATED MARCH 2018)

Unless you will be munching with your family or friend’s family this Sunday (Pasqua) and Monday (Pasquetta) in Florence, then you might find this post useful. If you happen to be going to someone’s home for Easter, don’t forget to pick up a chocolate egg- preferably from Vestri in Piazza Salvemini if at all possible. You can never have too much chocolate on Easter, right?

Not all restaurants in Florence are closed on Pasqua or Pasquetta, in fact some of them drum up really special menus for the occasion. And not all will have special Easter menus- which I note in my suggestions.

grilled lamb at Trattoria Cammillo (I love Cammillo)

Here are 10+ ideas for where to eat in Florence worth considering for your Easter Sunday and/or Monday meal. Plus links to dining outside Florence and food blogs to create some Italian Easter food at home.

Eater just published my top 10 picks for the best new restaurant openings from 2017– some of them are on this list but in case you’re looking for more ideas! For sure open from this list is Trattoria Moderna for Monday Pasquetta for dinner, Osteria dell’Enoteca for Easter, Massimo Bottura’s Osteria at Gucci Garden (open both Sunday and Monday- no special menu), Bottega Conviviale (Monday closed at lunch but open Lunch & Dinner on Easter, regular menu) and Ristorante Tehran for authentic Persian food in the center in case you’re craving international flavor as well as Ararat (Georgian and Armenian fare). Addresses and phone numbers in the Eater guide map linked!

Also- since Pasqua and Pasquetta fall on Sunday and Monday- try this guide I built for restaurants in Florence open Sunday and Monday– call to make sure they are open when reserving. The following are sure fire bets. Continue Reading

Sunday Lunch at Trattoria Cesarino in Florence, Italy

credit: instagram.com/carlasilviacaserta

I love providing advice to others for where to eat in Florence but when it comes to me finding a place to eat for myself and friends, the whole process can feel agonizing. This process amplified when it’s a Sunday in Florence. But after asking my brain to work, I found Trattoria Cesarino. I hope you too visit if ever in a bind regarding where to eat in Florence on Sundays. Continue Reading

Trading Pizza for Peace- latest article on Eat Sip Trip (USA Today)

After being in the states for 2 months, and watching the MeToo & TimesUp movement unfold, I started to wonder where Italy was in this state of gendered affairs. In Florence, I’ve noticed demonstrations raising awareness about femicide, violence and stalking. Solidarity displayed with red shoes hanging from shops and installations in major squares. Red shoes, or “scarpe rosse” states a demand for the end of violence towards women.

My latest article covers a group of pizzaiole (women pizza makers) who have banded together to put on fundraiser pizza dinners where 100% of proceeds will go towards anti-violence centers starting with a dinner March 12th 2018 raising money for  P.E.T.R.A in the Verona area with intentions to make these dinners in pizzerie around the country.

Original article can be found here:

Meet the Italian women using pizza to fight inequality and abuse

This first dinner is already successful- it sold out more than a week before the date! COMPLIMENTONI! 

Continue Reading

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