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Culinary Education in Tuscany: Learning to Cook Italian Food
A staple of Tuscan living is the delicious, and fresh, #foodanddrink. Things here were organic before it was cool to be organic, and I wanted to learn how to make their food. For someone who isn't remotely close to being a chef, learning to cook in #Italy was an incredible and #unique experience.
Tuscany is famed for its rolling olive groves, exquisite wine and most of all, healthy, organic foods. From a whirlpool of pasta variations to a sea of pizza flavors and tender grilled meat prepared in hundreds of different ways, Tuscan food has got me bowled over.
On my recent trip to Tuscany, I got the chance to get behind the kitchen and learn some tricks to making Italian cuisine. For those who want to delve into Tuscany’s cuisine beyond patronizing its restaurants and markets, there is a plethora of cooking schools that will give you some practical learning opportunities.
Cooking Class With Cuoche di Vacanza
With the chef duo from Cuoche in Vacanza, I learnt to roll up flour dough like a celebrity chef and turn raw dough to a sumptuous dish of pasta. For someone barely comfortable in the kitchen (not to mention holding a knife), this was a huge achievement.
Besides chopping up some tomatoes for our pre-dinner bruscettas, we concocted a steamy pot of ragu sauce and tossed belt-like strips of tagliatelle in the air before tucking into our own creations.
Cooking Classes in Tuscany
The Gucci Museum
Florence Cooking Class
Cooking was never this fun, or this rewarding – tasting the explosive flavors of the tagliatelle in ragu sauce and biting into the tender meat-wrapped tortellini maremmani put gratifying smiles on all our faces.
Chef duo Lella Rossa and Erike Elisa, having grown up in the area, have a life-long passion for food and cooking. Cuoche in Vacanza is their brainchild; along with their jovial assistant Rosana Rosie, the duo organizes culinary classes for foreigners interested in knowing more about the region’s culinary traditions. Based out in the San Giuliano area spread out between Pisa and Lucca, the duo brings students on market tours and then shows them how to prepare a complete Tuscan meal.
During our one-day cooking class, we learnt to make simple tomato bruscettas, tortelli maremmani (dumpling-like pasta stuffed with meat), tender tagliata (thinly-sliced beef topped with parmesan cheese), finished up with typical Tuscan cantucci biscuits dipped in vin santo (sweet dessert wine).
As Erike dished out the last course of our meal, she said with a proud smile, “This is one of the things that make life worth living.” I couldn’t agree more.
This experience was made possible by Casa Gentili and Avventurosa, but all opinions are my own.