Blog Updates: Best Food in Florence!

It has been entirely too long since I updated our Best Food in Florence post. Frankly, I’m embarrassed. It’s one of more useful blogs we have, if I do say so myself, including tips, hints, and all the necessities before we even get to the food. Writing about the food is always my favorite part and usually involves me leaving immediately afterwards to revisit one of our favorite spots. This new version has some new favorites along with the classics we still love. Really, you can’t go wrong with this list, whatever your price point and for however long you’re staying. I eat at pretty much all of these on a rather regular rotation and have for years! They continuously impress, so I hope you feel the same!

The Best Food in Florence

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Gluten Free in Italy? No Problem.

Gluten_free_recipeWhen it comes to food in Italy, my rule is: “try everything!” This becomes a bit harder once I learn what certain things are (sorry trippa and lampredotto, you never had a chance), but in general, I try and stick to it. I often feel a little bad for vegetarians traveling in Italy (Pancetta! Supplì! Bistecca!), and extra sorry for vegans (in Italy this eating concept is now generally recognized though not totally understood). However, there is one unexpected faction of diners that should have no fear eating their hearts out in Italy: visitors with celiac disease. Your immediate thought may be: “I am sorry, but are we talking about the land of pasta and focaccia?” And I say to you: “Yes, yes we are.”
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Photo of the Week: Roman Cauliflower

Photo of the Week: Roman Cauliflower

Also known as Romanesco broccoli, this stunning fractal* vegetable originates from Italy. The first time I saw it at my morning market, I was so blown away that nature could produce such an incredible and edible treat that I had to buy one. I mean…it’s a science project you can eat…or observe, if that’s your thing. With most things in Italy, my first instinct is to eat it. So I did. It was so good! It tasted more like cauliflower than broccoli and that is how I tend to approach it when considering it for a meal. Bonus, it is high in vitamins C & K. Any way you can cook regular cauliflower can be applied to Roman cauliflower, but here is a very simple recipe, should you find this fractal friend in your local grocer.
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Photo of the Week: Panettone & Pandoro

Photo of the Week: Panettone & Pandoro

If you plan on spending Christmas in Italy, there are two words you need you know: Panettone and Pandoro. These are two somewhat similar looking (but very different tasting) traditional sweet breads that are enjoyed during the holiday season. They are sold in large cardboard containers or exciting packaging (as pictured above) and come out in the hundreds, piled high in grocery stores, and lining the walls of bars and bakeries all over Italy.

Panettone is a sweet bread from Milan and is shaped like the cupola of a dome. The process to make this seemingly simple desert is actually rather lengthy and difficult, requiring many days and at least three separate dough risings. The final product, a fluffy, light dough, is filled with candied fruits and/or raisons. It is usually served with a sweet drink, often hot, and with mascarpone on top.

Pandoro, or Pan d’oro (bread of gold or golden bread), is a yeast bread baked in the shape of an 8-pointed star. Equally flaky and light, but without the candied fruit, many brands come with powdered sugar that is sprinkled all over to create a “snow-covered” effect. Like the panettone, it can also be served with mascarpone, a chantilly cream, or even gelato.

I personally enjoy my Pandoro dipped in coffee the morning after. Next time you’re here, make sure you try it. It only comes out once a year!

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So you think you know tiramisu? Try this recipe…Tiramisu al Martini

Since we can’t get enough of Davide (Florentine restaurateur extraordinaire, see here for more info), we are having an extra special Select Study Abroad feature…our first Select Study Abroad Italian food recipe!!Following the life rules we here at Select Study Abroad always adhere to, we begin this little adventure with dessert. This particular dessert is a Davide special. In fact, I think he invented it because I can’t find a single recipe for it online! It is Tiramisu al Martini. Spoiler alert: there is no coffee in this recipe! It is, as the title indicates, made with martini mix…or vermouth rather. Some of you may be shocked. As an avid coffee drinker I thought I wouldn’t like it. I was severely mistaken. Honestly. Would Davide ever lead us astray? Never. Here’s the back-story: Continue reading…

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