Curious Appetite

Seasonal

What’s in Season Fall 2015 (Florence, Italy)

It’s so fun to peruse outdoor markets and I personally love the change of seasons, smelling tasting and exploring the new goodies on the block.

I usually hit up the Sant’Ambrogio market for just about everything. Especially meat from the butchers inside the market and fresh, dirt cheap veggies. It’s also not very touristy thanks to uber-touristy, kitschy Mercato San Lorenzo that keeps Sant’Ambrogio pretty real. I do love San Lorenzo for cheap eats and the foodie oasis within- just not my cup of tea for produce shopping. Although the Sant’Ambrogio market is starting to be inundated with vendors and not farmers, you can still experience a slice of Italian life with a shop through this market. There are some farmers still around (and definitely none at San Lorenzo) and it’s a modest reminder of how Italians live and eat in normal circumstances. Continue Reading

Zucchini flower recipe: Frittata-style (fiori di zucca)

zucchini flower frittata (fiori di zucca)

My love affair started with Italy 10 years ago. My love for food started as soon as I could say spoon. For those of you new to my blog, it is called “curious appetite” because I wanted to write about all the things I was curious about: food, places, drinks, cultures and such. If something is unique, I want to order it. If I see something new and/or seasonal in the market, I want to cook it. Like finding fiori di zucca/zucchini flowers. I’ll try anything at least once. Seize the day- there are millions of flavors out there in the world waiting to be loved and loathed! One of the intentions of my blog too was to write about restaurants I was curious about. I wanted to write about places that did something different and with grit. And to give my humble opinion about eateries that were on everyone’s lips and yelping finger tips. So here it is- a mix of experimenting in the kitchen and at eateries around the world, mostly the US and in Europe. Continue Reading

Tuscan Recipe- Panzanella Bread Salad

Bread salad? Yes.

I wonder if people coming to Florence or other destinations in Tuscany realize what Tuscan cuisine is and what it isn’t.

Tuscan cuisine is a complex yet simple beast. Frankly put, it is not pizza and pasta. There are flatbread pizzas (schiacciata) and ancient recipes for some pastas (maccheroni alla cacciagione). But pizza is native to Naples and pasta is home in the Emilia Romagna.

If I had to sum up Tuscan cuisine, it would be the art of not wasting anything- down to the last stale bread crumb and 4th cow’s stomach, drizzled with local fresh olive oil. Continue Reading

What Foods are in Season Now in Florence (Spring 2015)

It sounds a bit strange to say what’s in season in Florence since produce that comes into Florence comes from farms and gardens around Tuscany. I suspect that one market in Florence may differ from a market in the Maremma in southern Tuscany. And since I am here, for simplicity’s sake- we will stick to Florence.

Why is it useful to know what is in season in Florence? Well, if you are traveling in Florence this may help your dining decisions. I’m a huge fan of “when in Rome” and eating what is traditionally around.

Also- just a few notes. Continue Reading

Culinaria Bistrot: Slow Food Eating in the Oltrarno

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. May I present to you: Culinaria Bistrot:

How can I say delicious any other way?

Want to know what the slow food movement was MEANT to taste like? HERE. Very very dear people own this eatery. People with grit, people with heart. No fuss, no pretension. Reasonable pricing and truly an explosive tasting experience. I went here THREE times in one week. I never do that. Continue Reading

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