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Crostone di salsiccia & stracchino

Melbourne’s winter is certainly making itself felt with what feels like a constant, grey drizzle. Thankfully the sun has come out today to warm our shoulders a little and put a smile back on people’s faces, but the chill in the air remains. To be honest, the cold, wet days remind me of early winter in Florence and although I’ve been complaining about it, there is something comforting in the nostalgia that the weather brings. One of our favourite... Read More

Sugo Bugiardo: Fakes, liars and runaway chicken

Like in many traditional peasant cuisines, Tuscan cooking was quite imaginative when faced with hard times. Tuscans are very good with using up their leftovers, or turning the less noble parts of animals into unforgettable meals. But they were also very good at imagining that they were eating something that they weren’t. My mother-in-law, born right after the war in central Tuscany, once recounted to me that when she was a little a girl they didn’t... Read More

The Whole Hog

Winter in Tuscany is traditionally pig-butchering season, as nature provides the refrigeration that farmers have needed for centuries for this all-encompassing, family-involved activity. I’ve been waiting since the summer to be invited to Fattoria Poggio Alloro, a beautiful farm near San Gimignano, for a lesson in a centuries old tradition: making salumi – cured meats. I was already familiar with their delectable sausages and prosciutto and love... Read More