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??

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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 →

    • 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.