Curious Appetite

Italian Food and Wine Travel

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

Curious Appetite is going on a tour!

Piedmont wine country via Curious Appetite
strawberry Nebbiolo fields forever

My liver is not ready, neither my psyche but I’m about to embark on a food and wine tour through Tuscany, Umbria and Emilia-Romagna…for 25+ people! Why am I letting you know? Well, because I plan (hope) to be sharing unique bits from the tour over the next several days either via the blog but for sure on the social media sites I’m keen on like Instagram and Snapchat so you can follow along the wine tour adventures, too! Continue Reading

7 Reasons to Visit Piedmont: Italy’s wine holy grail

me: completely aloof as always Val: prepared as usual

Piedmont is the holy grail of culinary wine travel. It is home to the Slow Food Movement, an annual Cheese Festival in Bra, prized white truffles from Alba, pastured heritage beef, rugged un-manicured terroir with unique variations in its soil and orientation making it a complex home for age-worthy Nebbiolo, comforting rich cuisine, delicious tangy creamy cheeses, the heavily contested University of Gastronomic Sciences AND Eataly, birthplace of Vermouth in Turin and the producer of some of the most interesting wines in the country: Barbaresco and Barolo. This is a frightening short synopsis of the culturally rich region, however the only way to get the full feel for it is to visit for yourself.

definitely not a bad place

I recently had the pleasure to visit the area with local blogger, Valerie Quintanilla. Valerie also dabbles in wine travel and introduced me to all things Nebbiolo. Not only was she able to take me to some of the most special producers of the region, she effortlessly pulled off a wine maker dinner and whipped up a feast to be paired along with it. I pinched myself every moment of this trip, hoping to never wake up from this delicious dream.

Thanks to Valerie spending some time with me and a friend visiting, I decided that in addition to being able to hang with Val, these are the top reasons to visit Piedmont: 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

Food and Community- examples from Emilia-Romagna

As part of a monthly bloggers group I am apart of, Italian Food and Wine Travel, we journey through the world of Italian Food and Wine, one region at a time. This month the topic is Emilia-Romagna and in the past for this blogger’s group, I’ve written quick cheese guides. This month however, I decided to dive a little deeper and closer to my blogging roots. And that is- cross cultural examinations and analyzing food ways.

I have been in Seattle for nearly 6 months after a very challenging 2.5 years of establishing a life in Florence. I am just a few weeks away from being back in Florence after this little hiatus and I have been busy reflecting and observing my home country in comparison to my new one. Continue Reading

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