Want to be Italian?

Ok so you just got home from Florence, Italy. You put away your ” I visited Florence ” tee shirt, decided to go on a diet, and now preparing your Friday night with the neighbors to show all your shots of  “that’s me in front of the .…”

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You’re now wondering what shall it be…pizza? Nah everyone knows that…pasta? Nah, every corner place at home serves it…How can I show that now I am an Italian? Slick my hair back, wave my hands while talking, …wait!!

There’s a better way..SPRITZ…

For me, beside Limoncello, the best happy hour or any hour for that matter drink over  there…

Here are the official ingredients needed….( and I got it from,beside much experience, the best cafe in town..)

  • 3 parts prosecco
  • 2 parts Aperol
  • 1 part soda water
  • Slice of orange……..BUT add an olive or two like these above….
  • one more thing…change your name to Marcello….Prego.

I’ll soon be be back in Florence for the summer working on my book. Follow me and share my experience…help the cause and receive a gift of thanks.. click here

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Prosciutto

IMG_9932Prosciutto has to be the national meat of Italy…at least to me. Who hasn’t had a thin slice over a cold wedge of cantaloupe, not to mention with tomato and mozzarella? Hopefully not you but if so what are you waiting for!

Matthew Pace Photographer_Bruschetta,sandwich-Italy10_ 2017-9018

So what is Prosciutto? It’s an air dried,cured salted ham, talking anywhere from 9-24 months to cure. Various regions in Italy produce it and each does it a little differently, according to taste. Less slat, sweeter ham. There are two types of processing, Crudo or Cotto which means dried or cooked. Crudo is the preferred and Italian Prosciutto especially the one from Parma is strictly regulated…and savored.

my food book

This man sells many pork items, but Prosciutto is his specialty and his place sits on a corner aisle at the Mercato in Florence, where he is happy to let you taste but not happy to have his picture taken. When I see him again on my trip this summer, perhaps I’ll get him to smile for the book !

More on my book project in Florence,Italy

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Matthew Pace Photographer_prosciutto_ 2017-7755

A World of Coffee

If it weren’t for the jitters, you could spend 24 hours a day having a caffe and hardly never having the same one twice. The art of making a cup takes on more than just a great flavor. Each barrister has their own fluid style and rhythm done with each cup they create as they pour it into their signature cup.

In Italy, as in most of Europe, a cup is priced ( apart from the type of coffee )  by where you drink it. Top price is sitting outside at a table on a great day, another sitting inside, and the best and cheapest is standing at the bar, where the coffee making show goes on. There you can chat with the barman, lean with the locals and feel like the peeps.

coffees         my food book

If you go often enough to the same place, they get to know you and once in while slide  something tasty your way accompanied with ” Prego.” Can’t wait to go back there!

More on my book project in Florence,Italy

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Tasting Italy

How can you resist a work of art on your plate? Masterful in presentation as well as in your mouth, it expresses a pride of work and a joy in doing it even though this cost around 4 Euros!

If only this post had a scratch and taste, I could really convey the simple experience of flavor in an every day, “let’s stop for a snack” This is one of the best reasons I have for returning to Italy this summer…and believe it or not, we had this treat at the train station.

More on my book project on Italy

fruit tart-IMG_0344

 

 

 

 

 

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My food book here

 

Eating Pasta, Florentine Style.

Florence has its open food market, the Centrale Mercato. Each stall  have their own specialty from nuts to elaborate meats.

Upstairs is where they all culminate in their version of a food court. Here you can eat cheap and good,drink as well.

 

 

 

I was in the mood for pasta so I saw this sign..

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chef whipped it up for me..Prego

 

It was light and excellent….  FYI I found out the translation..” Cow Stomach Ravioli in a Parsley,Basil sauce”.   MOOOOO…

Florence for Lovers

Sunset paints Florence. Along the Arno river  hundreds of people gather to celebrate it for many reasons beyond its visual beauty.

Some need company,

 

 

 

 

some find it.

 

Some, while not sanctioned by the local authorities,

 

 

profess it, lovers locked together, key thrown into the river

 

 

all images ©2017matthewpace

contact matt@matthewpace.com

Timothy Duque…Chef

From his beginnings at Johnson Wales University,North Miami, he worked his way up as intern at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, where we met. He spent ten years there learning everything he could from fine dining to high volume banquet cooking. This broad experience helped to hone his expertise to create the chef he is today.

 

” My grandmother is Colombian and I grew up making empanadas and arepas from scratch with some very old family recipes ”

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Tim gives this advice to newbies…” Stay focused. Many newcomers are distracted by money and fame. If you aren’t passionate about food, the long hours and stressful days will definitely consume you. The most rewarding part of what we do is serving others and conveying our passion through our preparations.”

for some behind the scenes: