Gabbiano
Moody skies in Chianti Classico (instagram @curiousappetite)

I thought I’d write a little update from the food & wine tour I’m currently working on- and a refreshing one at that which is not another mini-guide, opinion piece or preview of an article. What blogging is sometimes all about- journaling!

Dear journal,

the last 4 days really sucked. I had to wake up early, drink wine, walk around in vineyards, learn about dirt (Tuscany has this stuff called Galestro and it has loads of crap in it like limestone, marl, quartz and other dirty stuff), see some old crumbled wall dating to 217BC, eat dried meats (they call this stuff salami or some shit), too much pasta, had to swim in a pool to cool down from the Italian summer heat in some old ass villa (which they call “historical”) in the middle of nowhere except hills and forest. I mean, seriously??? Funny story is one of the students taught me about this amazing thing called a sippy wine cup where it was kind of like a tansparent coffee travel mug but really there was a wine glass inside. I was so overwhelmed by the excitement that I didn’t document this 8th wonder well. Balsamic vinegar is pretty much magic. Did you know that it can go on gelato? This stuff is made from ageing (but not fermenting) cooked grape juice from Lambrusco and Trebbiano grapes in small barrels. The best stuff we tasted was 25 years old. How do people have the patience for that???!! I wanted the whole bottle for lunch. It tasted like chocolate, dried figs, caramel and a touch of soy sauce but in a disturbingly euphoric way.

Best with gnocco fritto
Sparkling Pignoletto from Bologna best paired with gnocco fritto: fried dough from Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region

Aside from the dry jokes, it’s been a pretty intense few days. Managing an itinerary for 25+ people is something a bit of out the ordinary for me as I usually manage smaller groups, and the program given has some pretty ambitious plans. In the last four days, we’ve done: food touring in Florence (of course), Chianti Classico, Montalcino, Chianti Classico again, Collini Perugini, Modena and now Parma. I won’t go into much detail except to say that this has given me a higher appreciation for how challenging it must be for people planning a trip to a different country- not knowing the local food and wine culture- and how hard it must be to find the authentic/worthwhile info.

I take for granted all the individual stories and products Italian gastronomy and wine have to offer. For a while, I’ve been having people taste balsamic vinegar and there are so many details to this product that I never knew before. I plan on doing a whole post on balsamic vinegar so I’ll save some of that juice for that later. At the moment I’m pretty braindead so I’ll fill the rest of this post with pretty pictures. (unedited).

Umbrian wine country
217BC old wall
Sangiovese vineyards in Colli Perugini
Endless olive trees in Tuscany
Visit to a family-owned balsamic vinegar producer in Modena
When my life changed- 25year old Balsamic
This spilled, btw
when my life changed again (gelato)
Balsamic barrel aging- start large go small
It reeked of umami
Winky winky Lamborghini
then my life changed yet again: rosette modenesi (a “rose” of baked pasta, prosciutto and Parmesan bechamel cream)

 

Stay tuned and more on Instagram (and even more on snapchat!) I’ll be exploring more of Emilia-Romagna so keep in touch!

In an utter late night food coma,

Curious Appetite

1 Comment on Tasting through Umbria, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna in 5 days

  1. Georgette Jupe
    June 28, 2016 at 12:32 am (1 year ago)

    Sounds like a fun trip so far, and btw I love balsamic vinegar on gelato!

    Reply

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