Saturday, May 20, 2006

Saturday Snacks… pigging out

As we were driving back to Florence today from Certaldo, we decided to take a scenic road, passing by where Andrea used to ride his bicycle from Florence outside the city with his friends, going to the countryside for the day.

Taking the road, backwards as it were, and going back into Florence we passed through the village of Cerbaia and Chiesenuova heading towards Galluzzo, one of the residential areas of Florence built after the war.

I have always heard the stories of the wild bike rides, rolling hills and fabulous sandwiches at Giotto.

I was in luck, today it was open as we passed.

the shop for the sandwiches is the door in the left

As is typical, no real signs outside with the name of the shop, only tables on the sidewalk across the street, filled with young people on bicycles and motorbikes, enjoying a sunny Saturday.

We left the car in a parking lot in front of another 2 newer shops which have opened up, reaping the benefits of Giotto’s fame.

I entered the tiny shop, more of a food store, alimentari, than a restaurant or trattoria, but at the end of the shop counter filled with meats, was a small corner with a cutting board and glass case with schiacchiata, Florence’s famous flatbread.

Florence is famous for unsalted bread, shocking most palates, but schiacchiata is a salted bread, brushed with oil and also sprinkled with salt before baking.
This fabulous crunchy oily focaccia is made in the back room of the shop.

It makes incredible sandwiches!

I had mine with raw sausage, salsicce.
(not bad for an ex-vegetarian!)
I am addicted to this rare treat in Tuscany, often raw sausage is mixed with stracchino cheese, a soft tart specialty and can be served raw or heated in an oven.

I always ask, even in Tuscany if a sausage can be eaten raw.

Andrea went classic with Prosciutto Toscano.
Prosciutto Toscano is slighty drier and a little bit saltier than the Parma ham.
Parma is cured first in salt water baths where as Tuscan hams are packed in salt.

Tuscan hams are often given a final rub with lard and pepper, giving another kick of flavor.

When you take a piece of prosciutto and put in on your tongue and taste the flavor...
That is UMAMI.... Yummy to me!

Stop by if you are passing this way!

open on Sunday ( you can call and reserve the schiacchiata as it is sooooo busy on Sunday)
closed on Wednesday

Via Volterrana, 275
tel: 055/824-2220
Chiesanuova V.P ( Val di Pesa) not far from San Casciano


Thursday, May 18, 2006

contribute to
keeping the whole hog alive!
Merci & Grazie
J & K