Florence is the most amazing city I’ve ever encountered (not that I’m really all that travelled…). Literally, people do not know what they’re missing! It’s breathtakingly beautiful, small enough to walk the entire place, super fun at night and during the day, and not nearly as cold as home or school right now. Not hating it at ALL. The only issue I’m having right now is the language barrier. But, I had my first lecture for Italian class today and I’m pretty pumped about it. I went to the supermarket today and the lady told me how much it was using Italian numbers and I knew exactly what she said! For the win.
Anyways, back to the food. We’re still trying to figure out the times that places close, because a lot of them close in the middle of the day for a few hours. And, both my point and shoot camera’s and my nice SLR camera’s chargers were left at home (good work, Jess..), so my iPhone is my only camera at the moment. So, excuse the quality. I tried to use as steady a hand as possible.
Had my first cooking class yesterday, Italian Vegetarian Cooking. It was the best 2.5 hours of class I have ever experienced. This adorable, nice Italian chef guided us through making Pinzimonio, a traditional Italian appetizer consisting of fresh, raw vegetables cut and dipped in olive oil with salt and pepper. Sounds so simple, but I would have never thought to do it before, and thought it was one of the most delicious things ever. Definitely helps that the produce here is so fresh! We prepared celery, carrots, fennel, and red and yellow bell peppers. I don’t usually raw fennel, but it was so good and different dipped in the oil. But, the peppers definitely took the cake. We also made bruschetta. SO amazingly tasty! The recipe is below:
- 10 Roma tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- handful of basil, chiffonade
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- loaf of favorite crunchy bread (in Italy, they don’t use salt in their bread dough mixes..weird but still so good)
- Cut tomatoes in quarters and cut out seeds and insides. Sprinkle salt on the pulp and turn the tomato quarters upside down. Let sit for half an hour. This will extract the excess moisture in the tomatoes.
- Slice the bread and stick it in the oven for 10 minutes to warm and toast it a little at 300 degrees. Check frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- After 30 minutes, cube the tomatoes and put into a bowl with a sprinkle of olive oil, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Toss together with your hands or a wooden spoon.
- Let it sit for a little and then sprinkle olive oil on the bread slices. Distribute the bruschetta mix onto the slices. Enjoy!
I also got gelato last night for the first time since I’ve been here. Don’t know how or why I waited so long. It was SO good! I got half pistacchio (pronounced pistakio apparently) and half torrone (which is like cream, nuts, and chocolate). Well, I’m sure you’re super bored of my rambling by now, so I’ll just leave you with a little evidence about the true beauty of Florence. Ciao!