It is easy to be a great chef when you use the best in seasonal ingredients available.
Here is the first chapter in Diva's guide to the Four Seasons Tuscan Style--Primavera! Quattro Stagione alla Toscana!
This spring is one of the reasons you remember why you love Tuscany so much! Once the rain stopped and the sun came out, the hills became the most beautiful green, like velvet. The wheat fields on the rolling hills are already laden with Tuscan red poppies; the olive trees are full of blossoms to become olives. Acacia perfumes the air and the yellow Scotch broom brightens the hillsides.
Calendimaggio (May Day) celebrates the spring. One of my favorite festivals, the Festa del Grillo, is also in May on Ascension Sunday. The Cascine Park in Florence is filled with stands selling little handmade cricket cages complete with cricket, a good luck symbol.
The gardens (Orti), which you see created everywhere from someone's home garden to alongside railroad tracks or riverbanks, are filled with the gifts of the seasons. So, let us celebrate spring Tuscan style!
Here is what is in season here now. Click on the name for some ideas for preparation!
> Fava beans (Fava Beans or Bacelli in Tuscany)
> Fresh Garlic (we only get this for a very short time)
> New red onions (very Tuscan)
In Italy, it is very important to create a bond between you and the vendors in the market. They will never let you be disappointed and want you to return as a regular client. You want them to steer you to buy only what is in season and the very best. Buying what is in season is cheaper, more flavorful, and you need to do less to it while cooking. Thus, it is easier for you to make fabulous dishes!
Adopt your produce guy, the fish guy, the butcher, even if it is in a chain grocery store. Make them responsible for your happiness!
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Slow Food, Slow Travel
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La Notte di San Lorenzo
Fireflies & Fireworks
I Love EWE!
Andrea's Christmas Dinner
Addio Bistecca alla Fiorentina!
Guelfa e Ghibellini
[late summer 2001]
Tartufi, Feste & Sagre
Piatti del Buon Ricordo