Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Italy - Tuscan Food

How Good is Food?

Dinner last night cost me half my daily budget, but oh how I don't care.

Unfortunately, the detailed descriptions I wrote on a scrap of paper as I was eating are elsewhere, so I won't be able to tell you what the dishes were actually called in Italian.

The Ostello Castelvecchio was hidden up a steep and sharply-winding street some distance from the tourist areas. It's a member of the Slow Food movement, which I was pleased to discover. The place was almost empty, but it was relaxed and casual with a couple of locals eating as I arrived.

It was also the first three-couse restaurant meal I've had in some time, following many nights of takeaway, self-service or pizza ataglio.

First course - pumpkin ribbollini with hints of salami and parmesan. Outstanding, creamy and flavoursome. All courses acompanied by a good 2003 chianti, described in detail on the scrap.

Second course - vegetable souffle with the most intense tomato salsa, hot and crisp and soft on the inside.

Dessert - a trio of pannacotta, panforte (very much a local speciality - in fact all these dishes are, including the wine), and chocolate torte.

It was a well-deserved meal, and I've set aside the same amount today for a repeat performance elsewhere.


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