One of the many wonderful things about a Tuscan cooking vacation is discovering foods particular to the region, and even the produce of a specific town. Other than getting into the kitchen and cooking, the best way to discover these foods is going to the source: the market where the chefs find and choose the produce and foods they plan on cooking with. That’s why so many of our culinary vacations involve a market trip.
Italian Cooking Holidays: A Trip to the Market
The trip to the Figline Valdarno food market is one of those wonderful experiences, which is a part of A Classic Tuscan Table at Villa Casagrande. In the heart of Tuscany, and within an antique stone wall that encompasses the town, is the piazza M. Ficino, which is home to a large, traditional food market every Tuesday.
As part of our Classic Tuscan Table cooking vacation, you get to visit the market on Tuesday. While clothing and souvenirs can also be bought in the market, it’s the food that will have your mouth watering. Our chefs will show everyone around the food stalls, where you can discover everything from organic oranges to sardines to huge rounds of cheese. As Elizabeth W. of IL, a client of The International Kitchen, recounts, “I loved going into the little village to the market. Wonderful!! The locals were giving us tastes of cheese, salami etc.”
You will also get to pick out ingredients for the Tuscany cooking classes that are part of your culinary vacation. As Debbie D. of California remembers, “During our trip to the market I saw this beautiful fennel. As this is one of my favorite vegetables, I asked the chef how they cooked fennel in Italy. He said, ‘we’ll make some.'”
Once all the fabulous ingredients are chosen and you’ve sampled a few foods (but not too many; you don’t want to get full when you’re about to make a big meal!) it’s time for your Tuscan cooking class. In the kitchen, you will learn the different ways Tuscans use their fresh produce.
Have you visited A Classic Tuscan Table? What did you think of the Figline Valdarno food market?
By Liz SanFilippo Hall
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