November is a great month for food fans in Florence
November is a good time for any food lover to take a short break in Florence. A biennial food festival, the Enogastronomica Fiorentina, will run from 10th to 30th November.
It is the fourth time this festival will animate the city of Florence with its packed calendar of food and wine events. The festival was created to showcase traditional Florentine cuisine and its typical products. The festival will take place in several locations throughout the city. Food and wine tastings, practical demonstrations and itineraries based on food and wine are set up in a whole variety of venues.
Tuscan cooking is historically at the root of Italian cuisine, and Florence has a strong claim to being the birthplace of Italian gastronomy. Tuscan food is simple and relies heavily on local produce, mellow cheeses and grilled meats. Tuscans are also known for their appreciation of beans as seen in the staple of the Tuscan table: white beans cooked with sage and olive oil. At the heart of Florentine cookery lie four fundamental ingredients: bread, extra-virgin olive oil, grilled meat and lastly, wine. Many restaurants in Florence serve all the Italian specialities, not just the ones typical of Florence and the city does boast some very good restaurants which can get very busy, particularly during the main tourist season. While there are plenty of gourmet restaurants, this is also a city where you can still eat simple, hearty local dishes at extremely reasonable prices. There are wonderful dishes for vegetarians while meat lovers will love the classic Fiorentina T-bone steak or tasty offal dishes and slow-cooked stews.
Some local food specialities to look out for if you’re visiting Florence include:-
Fettunta – Toasted bread with olive oil. This dish is generally associated with the month of November, when the olive oil is newly pressed. It is featured on menus all year round, but in other seasons in lacks that characteristic pungent flavour of the new oil. In the summer you can top the crostini with chopped tomatoes and in winter, fettunta is the basis of a traditional soup known as “Lombard soup”.
Tonno e fagioli – Tuna and bean salad. This consists of while beans cooked in salted water with garlic and sage, served with tuna fish and dressed with oil. This dish can either be served as a starter or a main course as a lunch dish. It is often accompanied by crusty bread.