One of my favorite vending machines has to be the ones you find in Italy that dispense espresso! My favorite is number 32, Ginseng Macchiato. If I could find a way to make this at home I would! In Italy, they only sell regular espresso in the stores. This ginseng macchiato seems to be a special flavor. You can find these vending machines at train stations and other areas. The cost is about €.60. I overdose a little and get 2 at once. It tastes that good to me! If you ever see these machines on your Italian trip, try a flavor! 🙂
What better way to learn how to cook in Italy than in Florence, Tuscany!
This was one of the best parts of my trip back to Italy. I went to the Food & Wine Academy Florence. Once the classes are completed, they give you a recipe book of what you made and a certificate of completion that shows you took the class and learned how to cook! Awesome!
I registered for both cooking classes that were offered. I signed up for the Pizza and Gelato class through Expedia.com. I signed up for the VIP COOKING CLASS in a NOBLE VILLA & FARMERS MARKET TOUR through viator.com. It was more affordable for me this way. My total for both came to about $166. WELL WORTH IT!!!
Keep in mind that both classes are group related but still offer you the opportunity to create your own food and eat bruschetta and wine while it’s cooking.
Pizza and Gelato Class
My chef for this class was Alessio. He’s a young gentleman and pretty cool! He’s travelled around the world and has full knowledge of his craft. He taught us how to make proper dough for our pizzas. He also showed us how to make chocolate gelato. We all couldn’t make our own gelato due to time constraints but it was nice being in a group watching him make it and asking him our questions. He advised that gelato stacked like a mountain on display at a gelateria is probably not good gelato because real gelato doesn’t stack like a mountain. Real gelato is smooth like a sand dune and melts quickly.
The pizza was pretty simple after the dough rises. We had a choice of about 6 toppings. I chose oregano, basil leaves, onions and salami (pepperoni doesn’t exist in Italy.) I loved my combinations. Delish! 🙂
VIP Cooking Class
For this class, our chef Davide took us to the San Lorenzo Market to buy our ingredients. Davide is an older gentleman also knowledgable in his craft. It was nice speaking to him in Italian. Both Alessio and Davide had a sense of humor which was great for classes full of people from all over the world. I wish I had time to go back to the market because this market has fresh food everyday and Davide recommended we try a sandwich there called Lampredotto. It sounded delicious.
Anyway, we get to class and start making Tiramisu because it takes the longest to be completed. I loved those biscuits we used (a.k.a. Lady fingers).
Then we made homemade pasta and ravioli. He showed us how to make the beef mixture. He gave us knowledge on cooking wines. Basically, don’t cook with wine you can’t drink. Cooking wine is the leftover stuff from real wine. I.E. Not good. A great experience I would recommend to anyone. Plus, the food you make is delicious. 😉