Archive for the ‘Eating’

Toro and the art of cooking10.08.09

For those of you who haven’t heard of Toro at all let us just briefly state that their main contribution to the world is to deliver products which may be made into somtehing edible fast (relatively) by adding few ingredients normally found in every kitchen (e.g. water) by anyone who can read three or four sentences. For instance a bag of powder where you add 1 liter of water, heat and then boil for 15 minutes. And you have something you may call soup. Or the real fasttrack: the powder in a plastic cup where you just add boiling water an end up with something you might call … soup.

Being fooled into believing that it is faster and cheaper to “just add water” may be one of the most succesfull results of marketing. And, even worse, they often claim that the result is of a better quality, or at least as good as than making your own from the ground up. (Like milkpowder for babies was better than the true stuff from the mothers).

After diving briefly into the tuscan kitchen I have re-learned that cooking can be more fun, give better results, just as fast for the same cost than most of these half-baked products give us. And it may even be cooked by me, the cook with ten thumbs.

And here comes the part of Toro marketing I can’t understand at all: they run a web-competition on knowledge of Toro products where the prize is a trip to Tuscany and a gourmet dinner. For sure, they can’t base that dinner on Toro products??

Posted in Eatingwith No Comments →

The three stars (Le tre stelle)09.08.09

Close to San Gimignano in the southern part of Tuscany you find the Agiriturismo Le Tre Stelle (the three stars). These stars are three women who run an agriturismo with a little special twist. Every day they serve a joint dinner for all their guests at a long table in the patio. This dinner is homecooked and made from their own produce.

They also do nice wines. A white Vernaccia and good red ones. More on them later.

We learned about this agriturismo through a swedish TV-series on food and wine from under the Tuscan sun. This program gave them a bit of attention and some Scandinavian guests. If you are looking for that particular Tuscan experience, this may be the place to go.

Posted in Eating, Italia 2009, Italy, Observations, Winewith No Comments →

Il ristorante La Fenicia in Marciana Marina09.05.09

Just back to mainland Toscana after visiting Elba. Our first night in Elba, after checking in with the Gabbiano Azzurro Due Hotel, started out with a very nice seafood meal at the restaurant La Fenicia in Marciana Marina. Here is a short welcome from our friendly hosts for the evening, Patricia and Giacomo. If you like seafood, this is a very nice place to go.

Posted in Eating, Flip (videos), Italia 2009, Ut å spisewith No Comments →

gli Scopetti08.26.08

It’s not hard at all to find places with decent food whereever you may be in Tuscany. Just follow this simple advice:

    1. Rule 1 – Avoid red carpet stories Don’t take presentations in guidebooks – or any book for that matter – for granted. Too many of the authors behind these books have had their stay, food etc. for free.
      Rule 2 – Listen to the locals Stay away from places crowded with multi-language-tourist-tanned people. If the locals are a minority in the establishment you have obviously hit upon a tourist trap.
      Rule 3 – Don’t worry about the looks of the place After all: you’re there for the food. So if the place does not seem like that modern, newly refurbished ship-shape place: don’t worry. It’s only after you’ve tasted the food you should start considering the place itself. Marvellous food will absolutely taint your view on those matters.
  • Our first trip to Tuscany took place in 2004. And since then we’ve returned every year. And one night in 2004 we happened to jump of the A1 close to Firenze (aka. Florence). We were bored of the motorway and would rather drive the hills over to Le Buche di Viesca. The road was small, curvy and it was pitch dark. Streetlights is something only for the cities and villages. Suddenly, as we turned a corner, there was this brightly lit place. Cozy enough? Maybe a bit kitsch. But everybody in the car agreed: we should try dinner here one night.

    We did. And the food was marvellous. Nice hosts too. So we have been going back to this place every year, except 2007 when we failed to schedule a visit here :-(

    Went back there this year. As starter we had a nice dish of pici, these hand-rolled spagettis. And as a main course I had sliced, barbecued chicken (tagliate di pollo). All fitted nicely with the house wine. Good food. Too much food. At a reasonable price. Troppo, troppo. Did not manage to try any dolce, there simply wasn’t room for more.

    Speaking with one of our hosts at a fattoria where we tasted wine, she simply said “ah, gli Scopetti, they’re famous”. And I knew she meant they were famous for the food.

    I really hop not too many tourists find this place, because then it will all be too crowded and Rule 2 above will stop me from going there.

    Posted in Eating, Flip (videos), Italia 2008, Ut å spisewith No Comments →

    A coffeebreak in Montalcino08.20.08

    Let me first of all express how sorry I am for the delay in the publishing of the “Italian videos” of 2008. And to everybody who said “yes, of course” when I asked to tape them: your videos will be here, but it might still take a few days. You could say that you should never trust what a blogger says, only what he blogs.

    The same goes for the stories and recommendations on where to go when in Italy, where to eat, where to stay etc. It will all be here, but it may still take some days. Keep returning here for more.

    After Arezzo we went to visit a fattoria near Montalcino (this will be described later). We have visited Montalcino a number of times before. And always returned from Montalcino with a bigger smile on our faces due to either good food, good wine and/or good coffee. So we drove the 20 minutes from the fattoria to Montalcino. Since we had just had a nice lunch, coffee seemed the number one object. And what nicer place to enjoy that than in Belvedere?

    How to get there? Well, we always park at the very top of Montalcino, close to the castle. Then it’s just downhill past the church and to your right. Anyway, here is what you might see from the veranda:

    And once you get there, you will always be most welcome:

    Posted in Eating, Flip (videos), Italia 2008, Ut å spisewith No Comments →

    Giacomo i Vallombrosa07.31.08

    Sometimes you happen to find the real good restaurants. The restaurants that serve you good food. And even at a reasonable price. Such a place is Giacomo, a “ristorante/pizzeria” in Vallombrosa. Benvenuti from Elisa.

    The address of the restaurant is Via Carducci 12, Loc. Saltino Vallombrosa. Tel. 055 862185, fax. 055 862033.

    Posted in Eating, Flip (videos), Italia 2008with No Comments →

    Om du ikke vet hvordan11.16.06

    Det finnes kanskje ikke den ting man ikke kan. Eller ihvertfall noe man ikke kan. Så kan man jo se om det finnes noen der ute som kan fortelle en ‘hvordan’ slik at man kan lære noe nytt. Stadig er det noen som forsøker seg på opplæringsvirksomhet via internett. Noen, som TeachMac, går sterkt ut og sier “alle kan lære, alle kan undervise”. Men er det nå slik? TeachMac skal ha pluss for at de forsøker. Og de har en løsning for betalt undervisning som kanskje enkelte bidragsytere vil finne forlokkende.

    Men dagens vinner i folkeopplysningens tjeneste må nok bli videojug. Ikke bare fordi de dekker et videre spenn av tema: se f.eks. hvordan du lager en rekke pastaretter, hvordan du lager gnocchi og masse annet rart. De har også en rekke historiske filmklipp. Men de er også en vinner fordi de har valgt en enklere og mer tilgjengelig teknologi.

    Hva annet kan man lære på videojug? Jo, du kan f.eks. lære hvordan du enkelt kan lage en billig maskin for bretting av t-skjorter og du kan få en del tips om hvordan man bruker en dusj. Begge disse siste eksemplene er bidrag fra brukere. Så her er det bare å finne frem kameraet og lage sin egen instruksjonsvideo.

    Posted in Clothes & stuff, Eating, Internet, Observations, Technologywith No Comments →

    • the tuscan cat
      I for one believe that Leonardo (da Vinci) was really smart. And I also believe cats are smart creatures. So when I spotted a nice cat sleeping on a scooter carrying "the signature" Leonardo somewhere in beautiful Italy I just had to "shoot".

      For all you non-norwegian readers: older entries are in Norwegian only. Sorry.