“Stuffing feathers up your ass does not make you a chicken” is one of my favorite quotes from Fight Club. Just because a thousand people with unproven eno-gastronomic credibility reviewed an eatery on tripadvisor as the best pizza in Florence, does not make it the best pizzeria in Florence.
I’m not saying 3rd party sites like tripadvisor don’t have their place or worth- it just seems to have become gospel for some food hunting travelers. I find that the people worth trusting online 1st are bloggers who live, have lived and/or continue to spend time/visit that place (and stay in the good graces of the locals there) or those who actually know food either by writing about food, knowing cooks, having taken culinary tours or classes and who aren’t bad cooks themselves. Like pasta- how can someone really recommend the best pasta if they’ve never made it themselves or understand the standards behind al dente?Continue Reading →
Last year, I discovered a pretty chic gourmet nook in Florence smack dab in the historical center yet in a little backstreet that the massive hoards would have difficulty in finding. Everybody wants “off-the-beaten-path in Florence” in one of the most heavily stomped cities in Europe. If there was a literal representation of a quality food & wine bar off the beaten path in Florence, it was Uscio e Bottega:. Continue Reading →
If ever there is a day in which you need a boost in morale, a visit to a food market in Florence is always the anecdote. It is absolutely my favorite food tour to do and I feel my heart flutter any time I walk through these food treasure chests. If you really want to understand the neighborhood culture in Italy there are a few things you should always do when traveling:
1. visit a local coffee bar every morning. Pick one near where you are staying and always go there.
2. hang out at a the closest food market. people watch. observe. Continue Reading →
After years of coming to terms with culture clashes and accepting that things are simply done differently in Italy, I still from time to time cannot get over how inconvenient the Italian pausa is. La pausa is the break. The break that is a total pain in the back for travelers and locals alike. Italy, I love you for everything- the good and the bad. You are what I consider the closest thing to a husband- I take you for what you are. I can only hope you can forgive the following post as seemingly insensitive criticism to your cultural quirks. Continue Reading →
There is nothing more than I love than character and quality. One may say a cappuccino is nothing more than milk and espresso, but for me it is a coveted pleasure that I partake in at few places. There are a few things that can put me in a funk and one of those is a bad cappuccino, and you may think that could never happen in the country of coffee culture but I assure you it does and it does for many reasons.
1. The method in which milk is steamed is fundamental. 2. How it is poured over and weaved into the luscious dark espresso and 3. How much the barista actually cares about their job. While Gilda’s isn’t some hipster coffee haven doing flat whites, the coffee is light years ahead most bars around Florence.
Anytime I have been into Gilda’s, it has been like walking into a friend’s home. There is no high pressure. There are no overwhelming crowds. There is not some hungover barista annoyed by your caffeine feening existence. There is a little spread of homemade pastries welcoming your arrival into this little peaceful nook into the heart of the very Florentine Sant’Ambrogio, one of the most special neighborhoods in the food-loving world. Continue Reading →