Beautiful pages brimming with life and history that weave around traditional recipes filled with the aromas of Florence. A true cover to cover read, exactly the kind of cookbook that I eat up! The marbleized cover that spills onto the pages is simply lovely and gives me a wistful affection for both my second grade art class and the marble that graces the layers of Florence’s architecture.
I remember my first brush with Florence, that precise moment when I planted my foot down and a sudden awareness of belonging or perhaps, even more so, the sensation of never wanting to leave, just in case I missed something rushed over me. A hint of excitement and familiarity buzzed through the streets with a whisper of stories told and untold. I stood in this fascinating place and felt the warmth of its embrace soak into me, as history and charm dripped from its depths. I felt it was the kind of place where coziness met with grandeur and solitude with chaos. I could feel my creativity flow as I felt captivated by it’s loveliness, tantalized by the aromas of leather, incense, rising dough and those yet to be discovered.
The galleries and great halls of the Uffizi brimming with exceptional works of the Renaissance, the chiseled physique of Michelangelo’s David, a kiss on the Il Porcellino’s snout to ensure my return to Florence and a coin slipped into the boar’s gaping mouth in hopes of it falling through the underlying grate below for good luck. A stroll through the sparkling jewelry shops stretched over the Arno on the medieval Ponte Vecchio. Brunelleschi‘s majestic Duomo that suddenly seems to loom in front of you. My first taste of finocchiona studded with black peppercorns and wild fennel seeds. Sitting on a street corner while sipping wine and people watching, while a pair of teenagers make-out for what seems like hours and finally, a pause on the Palazzo Pitti’s veranda to watch the sun shine over the city.
My first visit to Florence remains the most vivid. Perhaps, this is why I find this cookbook, so special, it gives me something old and something new, much like the city of Florence itself. It inspires a sense of nostalgia, a yearning to go back. Needless to say, this is a cookbook that I’m sure I will go back to again and again. I’m looking forward to cooking: Frittata di Finocchio, Pappardelle all’Anatra, Coniglio con le Olive, and a daring take at Sfogliatine! I’d also love a taste of Crostini con Lardo, Miele and Pepe, but true lardo is difficult to get your hands on, I suppose I’ll have to wait until I meet Florence again.
Thanks to Emiko Davies for a beautiful compilation of the true cuisine of Florence.