San Lorenzo Food Market in Florence, Italy – Part 2

FoodStrolling around the San Lorenzo market soon builds up and appetite and there are some great eating places where you can take time out to get refreshed and re-feulled before heading out again to check out whatelse the market has to offer.

Da Nerbone’s – a trattoria that first opened in 1865. They only open for lunch. Here you stand in line and once you have collected your food you may or may not be lucky enough to find a seat at one of the few tables that are available, otherwise you simply stand and eat at the bar, a high marble table. Nerbone’s serve a variety of tasty home style pasta’s, stews and soups.

Fiaschetteria-Trattoria Mario – situated behind the Mercato di San Lorenzo in the Piazza Mercato Centrale. This establishment is also only open for the lunchtime trade Monday to Saturday. This place is so popular that you will always have to line up to get in, so try and get there before noon. Delicious dishes to try are the vegetable soup, Zuppa di Verdura which is service over a slice of toasted bread. And if you are a meat lover then try the Florentine steak with French fries. A particular favorite is the Braciole in Salsa which is a dish of thin beef slices pan fried in their own juices with maybe a little olive oil.

Pany Da Lory – inside the Mercato di San Lorenzo. Drop by here to find great varieties of breads, pasta, biscuits, sauces, Tuscan liver pate, Wild boar’s Ragù and wines. And if you are lucky enough to live in the area you can have the ingredients for a full Tuscan style meal delivered to your home. Each box contains not only the ingredients but also the complete cooking guide for the recipes. There are a number of different types of meals to choose from.

Food 1Trattoria Zà-Zà – situated in Mercato Centrale. Sit yourself down for a feast of Tuscan soup, pasta, crostone – large slices of bread spread with garlic and good quality olive oil, stracotto – braised beef, cacciucco (similar to bouillabaisse) Chicken ala Hunter, Tripe ala Florentine and follow any of these filling, great tasting dishes with smooth creamy chestnut torte.

These are just the very smallest sample of great eating places in the San Lorenza Markets. You will want to keep going back to sample the food, wine and sweets, and pick up fresh produce to prepare at home if you are staying longer than a couple of days.

Opening Times

The San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale is open from 7am to 2pm Monday to Saturday.

How to get there

San Lorenzo Mercato Centrate
Via dell’Ariento
San Lorenzo District

Head towards the San Lorenzo outdoor market in the Piazza San Lorenzo. The San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale is located in a large building behind this outdoor market

A great resource is http://www.sanlorenzo.firenze.it/e_index.shtml providing information on San Lorenzo and a detailed history of the San Lorenzo market.

San Lorenzo Food Market in Florence, Italy – Part 1

Sottocenere with Truffles

Just for a change in topic I thought I would talk about the San Lorenzo food market in Florence. Paula and I visited Italy a while ago now, but the images of the sights, sounds and smells still remain vivid.

The San Lorenzo Market is one such market. Popular amongst tourists for its clothing, leather goods and souvenirs, it is also frequented by the locals and long term visitors who go in search of fine cheeses, exotic coffees, fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.

Spread out over two floors, the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale contains the most amazing assortments of fresh food. On the lower floor is found the meats, cheeses and other general types of food, while the upper floor holds mostly fruit and vegetables.

There is a never ending variety of cheeses and stall holders will even vacuum
pack it for freshness. Look out for tasty dried meats, Porcini mushrooms, candied fruit of all imaginable varieties, olive oil and marinated olives. If the smell of fresh coffee drives your taste buds crazy then you will find a great range of fresh ground coffee or coffee beans.

Probably the best way to experience the market is to simply meander around exploring the goods on offer.

Stroll into the market from Via dell’ Ariento and turn to the right and you will come across Perini, a delicatessen with a great selection of food including a selection of delicious takeaway breads and cold cuts including stewed boar and quiche.

If you turn left on entering the market, you will come to another a stall with an excellent selection of cheeses. Further on are the vegetable stands where you can purchase truffles and porcini when they are in season and don’t forget to take in the butchers and fish stalls which boast some of the finest fish available in Tuscany.

After you have enjoyed the sights and smells of the downstairs area, head upstairs to find more vegetable and produce stalls. The range of fresh seasonal produce available is absolutely amazing, lush peaches in summer, artichokes in winter plus there is the added joy of finding exotic fruits as well.

For a taste of Italy right here at home, why not buy an Italian Gift Basket. These make a perfect gift for any special occasion such as mothers day and they  are also a nice idea to buy for yourself so that you can experience the wonderful flavors of Italy.

Here are some examples, simply click on the picture for details:

Deluxe Italiam Food BasketDeluxe Italian Food Basket


Tour of Italy Gift Basket

Tour Of Italy™ – Italian Gift Basket

Thats Amore! Italian Gourmet Food Basket

Thats Amore! Romantic Dinner For Two – Italian Gourmet Food Gift Basket Picnic Hamper

The Hot Gift of Chili

ass-basket-hot-sauce-gift-basketWhat a great gift idea for friends who love the taste of chili.

Chillies are available in a number of varieties from mild to very hot and are used to add heat and flavor to a variety of dishes especially Mexican, Tex-mex and they are also ideal for use in spicy Thai and Chinese dishes.

Just another useful cooking item to spice up your meals.

If you like a hot chicken dish then check out this recipe for Chinese Chili Chicken recipe that has the addition of japones to add to the flavor.

 And for the guys !!

Prove that you’re a real man! And not by downing 10 pints, but cooking and eating chili! See if you can handle these sauces:-

The Xtreme Heat Mini 4-Pack includes four mini bottles of hot sauces :-

  • hot sauce from hell
  • mini ass-blaster hot sauce
  • min spontaneous combustion
  • mini hot sauce from hell- Devil’s revenge

And you can combine this pack with the Ass Kickin’ Mini Bottle 4-Pack :-

  • Mini Ass Kickin’ Original Hot Sauce
  • Mini Ass Kickin’ Wasabi Horseradish Hot Sauce
  • Mini Ass Kickin’ Cajun Hot Sauce
  • Mini Ass Kickin’ Roasted Garlic Hot Sauce

It really does prove that real men don’t eat quiche!

Tip: Remember, size matters! The smaller the chili, the bigger the “heat” factor!

 

Red Hot Chili Peppers and Other Bitey Delicacies

Adding spice to food has been done throughout the ages, either to cover up the taste of food that is long past it’s use by date or simply to enhance the flavor of a favorite dish.

Jalapeno

jalapeno-powder

The Jalapeno is probably the most popular chili in the US and it is well known for its warm burning sensation when eaten. The jalapeno is named after Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz in Mexico.

The smooth dark green chillies turn red if they are left on the vine and the taste ranges from hot to very hot (spicy but not searing).

Jalapeno’s are often dried and in this form they are known as chipotles.

Green Jalapeno Powder adds a great flavor when it is sprinkled on popcorn, used to spice up dull tortilla chips or used in salsas, sauces and marinades.

Check out Jalapeno Madness for great recipes using Jalapeno’s.


Guajillo

igourmet Dried Guajillo ChilesGuajillo peppers are a leathery, dark reddish brown chilli traditionally used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. Second to the ancho, this is the most commonly used chile in Mexico. The Guajillo Powder is made up of the whole dried pepper, including the seeds and stems.

It has a distinct, slightly fruity, berry taste and is sometimes called travieso (mischievous) chile in reference to its not so playful sting. It is considered to be of moderate heat having a heat factor of of 2-4 on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is the hottest.

Guajillo powder is great for sauces and salsas, stews, and chillies.


Habanero

Cayenne (Chili) Pepper Powder Habanero Cert. Organic 200,000 HU (Capsicum annum) 1 lb: CThe Habanero Chili is the hottest chili there is. This small lantern shaped, innocent looking pepper is native to the Caribbean, the Yucatan, and the north coast of South America.

Use sparingly to add a definite kick to sauces and marinades, or even to brighten up mashed potatoes.

A great thing about using the habanero chile in powder form is that you don’t have to endure the painful chopping and the searing pain the oil from the peppers can leave behind.

 

De Arbol

De Arbol means “tree-like” in Spanish, referring to the shape of the plant from which this fiery chile comes.

Common Mexican names for this chilli include : pico de parajo, or “bird’s beak,” and colo de rato or “rat’s tail,” referring to the long, curved shape of the pod and its graceful stem.

De Arbol Powder is used mostly in table salsas, or blended with other chiles in meat stews. Its seeds and veins are generally not removed.

*Please note that this is very hot

 

Delectable, Delightful Kiwifruit

KiwifruitKiwifruit consist of a hairy, brown outer layer which contains juicy green flesh with white pulp in the center that is surrounded by black, edible seeds. The fruit has a sweet taste, similar to a mixture of banana, pineapple and strawberry.

Now I am a real fan of Kiwifruit, firstly being a kiwi makes me biased to anything New Zealand related and secondly they taste great. There is nothing quite like slicing open a ripe Kiwifruit and spooning the juicy contents into your mouth. Some people are happy enough to eat the fruit whole, including the furry outer skin but that doesn’t appeal to me, I simply like to eat only the green fleshy part.

And don’t Kiwifruit look great on top of a white pavlova or chopped and added to fruit salad or a fruit comport.

The Kiwifruit didn’t actually originate in New Zealand, the seeds were taken there by missionaries from the Yangtze River Vally of Northern China and the Zhejiang Province on the Eastern China Coast where they were called “macaque peach’.

A number of plants were sent to California where the climate is very suitable to plant growth and the fruit is also grown commercially in Italy, South Africa and Chile.

The plants need a long growing season with at least 240 frost-free days. They can withstand temperatures to about 10° F. However they do not like sudden plunges in temperature which may eventually cause damage to the vine. Kiwifruit can be successfully grown in containers.

Kiwifruit contain potassium, vitamins A, E and C and the seeds can be crushed to make kiwi fruit oil.