Curious Appetite

Desserts

Favorite Bakeries & Baked Goods in Florence

 

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

Barolo Chinato and Amarascato: Pairing chocolate with wine

chocolate hazelnut chocolates and gianduja from Piedmont paired with Barolo Chinato. what grows together, goes together.

There are a few things that stuck in my head during my food & wine pairing classes. Old adages like “what grows together, goes together”, you might say. One was related to pairing chocolates and wine. My ever so flamboyant instructor, who probably drank more in class than we did, asked “who in here likes red wine and chocolate?” You can imagine that mostly of us rose our hands and to our reply he said “You probably like it, but it’s actually one of the worst pairings. It’s kind of like sex on the beach- it sounds like a good idea in theory- beach, sex…but then the reality kicks in and you got sand and all that ruining the mood.” Continue Reading

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!

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

#ItalianFWT: Sicilian Cannoli and Wine Pairing

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