Looking for the most buttery bakeries in Florence?
Buttery may not be the accurate term since many Tuscan baked goods are made with either no butter (i.e. pane toscano, cantuccini biscotti, etc) with olive oil, shortening or plain old fashioned lard (strutto) or a combo of one of these with butter, or modest amounts of butter compared to the French.
But for all intents and purposes, these are the bakeries where you can get the holy trinity of fat carbs and sugar. Italians and Tuscans especially take great pride in baked goods, especially breads which have hundreds of years attached in every crumble and every morsel of that “buttery” simple carbohydrate bite. The French get a lot of credit for patisserie (and rightly so) but what some famously ignore is that they have the eclair thanks to the Renaissance’s original carb loader Caterina de’ Medici and her team of bakers, who introduced the pâte à choux (or bigne’) to these forkless savages (which she also forking corrected). Florence is kind of a big deal.
As a result, it is possible to find yourself in a conundrum of where to find the best baked goods in Florence. Albeit the tiny size. this city is brimming with pastry shops (la pasticceria) bakery shops (il forno) at every corner luring you in with wafts of buttery sweet and savory temptations. Save yourself the hassle with this little guide. Or you can also take a food tour in Florence to taste an array in real life with a professional carb loader. Continue Reading →
I am finally compelled to write you all after a whirlwind stay in Florence. This time, things started to feel normal again. I never want to hear the words “zona gialla/arancione/rossa” ever again. I experienced Florence in a period in which I felt like I could finally resume what life was remotely like before the modern day plague struck. That is, doing tours, dining out and living between two places I consider home: San Francisco and Florence, Italy.
I write you from my couch in San Francisco, sipping on a negroni (made myself *unwashed/unbrushed hair flip*), in tattered pajamas no less. Just as I would have imagined my first real blog entry to be in the last nearly 2 years to look like. I hope you appreciate the visual picture I’m painting…
I’ll say it- there is more to panini in Florence than l’Antico Vinaio. And if you’re wondering why they are extremely famous, consider this failproof recipe: thousands (13K+) of tripadvisor reviews mostly since they’ve been listed for ages, larger-than-life panini and cheap wine all for under 5-10€.
The panini at l’antico vinaio are good, even delicious, but for me not worth to me waiting up to an hour in line for. Bear in mind in reading this post, I’m not here to rag on any particular business, and food is extremely personal, but rather offer up some alternative suggestions.
Italian panini, are meant to be simple and traditionally included few ingredients: primarily cheese and/or meat. It seems that they’ve become monstrous man vs. food feasts here! Not that I don’t enjoy a decadent massive panino, but again, I suggest folks to consume info (and food) with a discerning palate.
I am suspicious of the ingredients in terms of what’s actually in their spreads and where they source their meats/cheeses from. My personal tastes goes towards more artisan style eateries, where ingredient sourcing/quality is emphasized. Not always thought, I do enjoy junk food from time to time! But I get a lot of questions “is Antico Vinaio really that good?”Yes- it is but in case you don’t want to wait in line for an hour, here are some alternatives. Continue Reading →
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 →
This blog is about eating and drinking well. Most of the content concerns food in Florence since I am obsessed with it. I get some of my food recommendations from just wandering around Florence. The other half is from talking to friends and locals. The beauty about people in Italy is that they all love to talk about food and their next meal even while they are eating. Continue Reading →
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