Sunday, May 29, 2011

Genvieve in Florence!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thursday night I met up with Gen and her fiancé for dinner.  They have been traveling around Italy and made a stop in Florence.  And it just so happened that I am here at the same time!!  It has been about five years since I last saw her, so there was a lot to catch up on!

We met at the Golden doors by the Duomo around 7:00 and then heading off to dinner.  I took them to Yellow Bar.  Yes it my third time there, but you just cannot go wrong with anything that you order!! They have been complaining of not finding any good food, so it was the perfect place to go!! We caught up over a bottle of Chianti Classico and a delicious prosciutto and mozzarella appetizer and wonderful pasta and pizza.  It is amazing how much there is to talk about after not seeing Gen for so long!  It was like we picked right back up where we left off!!

We ended the night with Gelato! (because no matter how full you are, there is always room for Gelato).  They had not had any good gelato yet in Florence, so I took them to the best--Perché-no!  They were both very pleased with my selection!  After we went over the Piazza de Republicca to see the Gelato Festival and chat some more. 

I am so grateful to have seen Gen over here in Florence, Italy.  I had such a wonderful time catching up with her and meeting her wonderful fiancé. Hopefully I will see her again in the near future!

Friday was an exciting morning to wake up to! It was the day we were leaving for Cinque Terre!! But first thing first, we had class!! Friday’s class focused on olive oil.   Frantiano and Leccino trees are two types of olive trees that olive oil is produced from.  The first press of the olives produced Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the second press-virgin olive oil, and the third is olive oil. Olive oil should be stored in a cold and dark place.  Lighter olive oils are used on vegetables, while heavy and flavorful olive oils are used on meats.  The Mediterranean diet was also discussed again since olive oil plays a major role.

Before the cooking lab began Chef Tammaso had us taste four different types of olive oil from four different regions of Italy and explain our thoughts. Below are the four types and my thoughts I wrote down.
1.     Northern Italy/Lake Garda- light fruity flavor with a slight peppery taste.   An olive oil I would use for salad
2.     Liguria- A fresh, sweet, smooth and well-rounded taste (MY FAVORITE!!)
3.     Tuscany- Light flower taste with a light bitter after taste.
4.     Southern Italy- Spicy and peppery taste.  No fruit or sweetness.

After tasting the four, we were to choose our favorite to put over vanilla gelato.  I chose the olive oil from Liguria.  Chef Tammaso had told us before trying that the olive oil helps to bring out the flavor of the cream and egg in the ice cream. At first everyone thought this was a strange concept, but the taste of the gelato with the olive oil was AMAZING!! 

Vanilla Gelato with Liguria olive oil

Next we began our recipes for the day, which was 4 different types of bruschetta toppings to place on toasted garlic Tuscan bread. The four topping included
1.      1.  Tomatoes, basil, and garlic tossed in olive oil with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top
2.     2. Artichokes in a lemon and olive oil dressing
3.     3. Cabbage cooked in olive oil and garlic with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top
4.     4. White beans cooked in olive oil, garlic, and sage

All were delicious and easy to make!! We were done in no time!!  With 45 minutes left Chef Tammaso used the time to discuss the difference between American ice cream and the Italian’s Gelato.  It pretty much just turned into a discussion on why Italian food is much better than America’s.  Italy’s products are made with the best products available.  Very seldom does Italy use preservatives.  They are proud of their local produce and strive to preserve regional and local cuisine.  When you pay for your food in Italy you are paying for quality.  Therefore, the cheapest food you find will most likely have preservatives, whereas more expensive foods are made with fresh and local ingredients.  Each region has it’s own flare and certain types of food they are known for.  This allows each region to form their own type of cuisine (allowing tourists, like myself, to enjoy something different and new when traveling the country!).


Molly Jean

No comments:

Post a Comment