My first stop in Florence was at TASTE, a 3 day food gathering of Italy’s finest foods ranging from jams, wines, cheeses, meats, chocolates, and much more from over 160 select exhibitors. This mouth watering event allowed attendees to eat, taste, question and buy products from a wide range of creators and distributors around Italy, though many of them seemed to be small independent family run organizations, which I liked. The highlight of the event for me is pictured above….it’s buffalo mozzarella! Simply Amazzzing!!
More pics and info about TASTE after the jump.
The event took place at Stazione Leopolda, a breath-taking castle flooded with personality in every corner….I’m a total sucker for bricks though…hence, I loved the space. Food, wine, bricks…I was in heaven.
The entrance wrapped in florescent tube lights! It was an ok design entrance, but could have been much more!
One of many aisles filled full of fresh food,wine, cheese, etc.
Lots of good tasty wine to sample!
Here I’m sporting the wine glass lanyard every attendee gets! The glass was huge but really nice! I didn’t sample too much wine, but had enough to be happy. The event hosted a variety of wines. I was craving sleep over wine at this point since it was around 6 am Boston time and I was trying hard to stay awake. Yes, I know, I’m in Italy and I’m at an event giving out free wine of the highest quality… but I’m tired, and I had a bunch of meeting and work after the event….
Ahh, this was the highlight of TASTE for me…the mouth watering, bubbly juice popping, taste of the buffalo mozzarella!!!! I think this is the first time I’ve had real mozzarella! The soft, almost layered, juicy mozarella just melted in your mouth with a fresh scent of cheese while bursting bubbles of juice sizzled at every bite. It’s hard to describe..it was just that good!
That’s me ready to bite into another sample…I think I waited in line 5 times. The lady cutting the pieces got to know me 😉
I bought a ball of the mozzarella at the TASTE shop later on….eat within 2-3 days! Yuuuummmmmmmmmmmmm! Unbelievable! I want more!
Honey sampling by Mielli Thun. I never knew there were so many varieties of honey, but this booth had a good dozen very different types…the velvety, smooth, creamy, pure, heavy, sweet, sour, thick, thin, strong, etc. I had a very well informed 20 minute demo by someone that barely spoke english….he was incredibly passionate about the honey and would smell the stirred honey like a sommelier would smell wine. I preferred the woody type honey…but the rose honey smelled amazing. I’m stealing an image off their site cause it sells the story of how goooood their honey really tasted.
Looks good, tastes incredible! So simple!
Chocolate booths probably out numbered a majority of the event. Chocolate bars, covered nuts, drinks, powders, cookies, mints, sticks, etc! I like chocolate, but after eating too many samples, you start to get sick of it…otherwise, the chocolate there was first class!
Aboves one tasty sample of fine Italian prosciutto. There was the really dry one, and another with a smoother taste, but not as dry….I liked the dry one more…it was damn good! I wanted more, but the dude got tired of me asking and started to ignore me…I had to bring my italian friends get more samples! I wish I had some bread on me, cause this meat would be perfect for a simple sandwich. Yuuum!
Scents by Lorenzo Villoresi.
A gallery area for resting and hourly panel discussions or demonstrations which I did not understand since it was all in italian. Otherwise, when it was not is use, a slide show of tasty looking dishes were displayed on the many screens on each wall.
The TASTE shop….after tasting a bit of everything, a shop with all the exhibitors products were available for purchase…let’s just say this would be one kick butt grocery store…taste everything from the best, then buy for a great price. Many of the vendors come from far regions of Italy. This is where I bought some chocolate and mozzarella!
The event also contained a bookstore full of amazing recipes, pictures, and the famous el bulli book by Ferran Adria. I was a bit distracted by the architecture of the space here…bricks…yar!
Overall TASTE was pretty amazing food wise…I was a bit disappointed in the variety of foods, but within the specific types were amazing variations of taste I’ve never had before. One image I didn’t get was a very old balsamic vineger which was more of a syrup which was amazingly potent! I think I tried a 5 year and 10 year old version…the older the more potent and sweet! Would I come again, yes I would…I’m a sucker for food and italian food rocks! I’d prbably pick up a bit on Italian next time as I was a bit shy to ask and try everything.
PS: I’ll admit I dont have that many images of tasty food causeÂ I was a bit busy eating it all rather than taking pics 😉