Tuscany cooking class: The market in Figline Valdarno
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 With Chef Claudio." 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.
That morning, Chef Claudio takes guests to this market. While clothing and souvenirs can also be bought in the market, it's the food that will have your mouth watering. Claudio 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 his little village with him to the market. Wonderful!! The locals were giving us tastes of cheese, salami etc."
Chef Claudio will also help everyone pick out ingredients for the Tuscany cooking class. 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 him 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 with Claudio!) it's back to Claudio's large teaching kitchen for a Tuscan cooking class. In the kitchen, Claudio will continue to teach you about the different ways Tuscans use their fresh produce.
Have you visited "A Classic Tuscan Table with Chef Claudio"? What did you think of the Figline Valdarno food market?
By Liz Hall