Curious Appetite

panini

Tour’ing Schiacciata vs Focaccia and Better Panini in Florence

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 was brought back to Florence to check on our culinary tours/events (so stoked they have been able to “ripartire” after this mess!). I’ll be in SF for the remainder of the year if anyone wants to book a food tour, wine tasting or company/holiday event! Continue Reading

The best panini in Florence (that’s not All’Antico Vinaio)

salami florence panini brunori

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 when this post was originally published, now 30K+ in 2024) of tripadvisor reviews mostly since they’ve been listed for ages, larger-than-life panini and cheap wine all for under 5-10€ (in 2016- that is more like 9-15eu in 2024).

The panini at l’antico vinaio are at best good, for some with easy to please palates even delicious, but for me not worth to me waiting up to an hour (or even 5minutes) 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