So I’ve already begun to tell you about my food experiences whilst on honeymoon in Italy in a previous post here. But there was oh so much more Italian food to talk about!
Aside from the beautiful trattorias, osterias and bars that we frequented, we also cooked our own food and even indulged in an authentic Tuscan cookery course. This was a definite high-light of our trip and something I’d highly recommend to those of you that are looking for something a bit different to do and something that involves a real piece of Italy. A Tuscan cook comes to your house or apartment, laden with the freshest of local ingredients and helps you cook your own 4-course Tuscan meal, before serving you whilst you devour every last bit!
Our cookery course was booked through Arianna and friends, a local Tuscan tour operator that specialises in food and wine tours and experiences. They pride themselves on taking things slow, so you can really indulge and take-in the real Italy. Arianna and her friends (one of whom was our cook, Veronica) are a wonderfully friendly bunch of people, who will guide you through some Italian experiences personally, giving you that special experience that you’d want on a holiday or honeymoon. We really are glad we met them and will definitely be calling on them when we’re back in Tuscany.
On booking, we were sent a selection of dishes to choose from for each course, that would form our 4-course Tuscan menu. They were all based around authentic, classic Tuscan dishes involving the freshest of ingredients that are in season at the time you’ll be cooking. When it comes to the day of your cookery lesson, a wonderful cook will arrive at your house or apartment with bags full of local ingredients and the necessary tools to cook said ingredients (they also run cookery classes from their cookery school, which is a great option if you’re staying in a hotel and don’t have access to your own kitchen).
The good thing about Arianna and her friends, is they all speak English! So although they are more than happy to indulge in some Italian with you, you don’t feel pressured into speaking a language you barely know. It is however a good way to test what Italian you have learnt and ask a native-speaker what all those words you’ve noted down on your travels actually mean! Our teacher Veronica has a wonderful sense of humour and made our experience really fun and enjoyable.
So our chosen 4-course meal was:
Crostini with porcini mushrooms and other mushrooms prepared in different ways and crostini with chicken liver
FIRST COURSE/ PRIMI
Handmade courgette and ricotta ravioli with butter and sage sauce
Bracioline rifatte – thinly sliced beef in breadcrumbs with a tomato and caper sauce
Strawberry custard tart
We had great fun cooking everything from scratch. Pasta is one of my all-time favourite foods and I was taught how to make pasta dough and form into my very-own ravioli. This is not only just a high-light of my honeymoon, but quite possibly my life! Veronica takes you through everything at a gentle pace, giving you enough time to make notes in the little booklet they create especially for you. Me and hubby each had our own jobs to do and maneuvered ourselves gracefully around the kitchen (well I might be stretching it with “gracefully”) whilst our dishes came together before our very eyes. It’s lovely to do something like this in the comfort of your own home or apartment, as you can really relax and enjoy every minute. We had a glass of wine whilst cooking – we couldn’t have asked for much more!
Once our dishes were all prepped and coming together, me and the hubby laid the table and got ourselves comfy whilst Veronica finished the cooking. She insisted on us sitting and relaxing over the wines she had brought with her (designed to match our chosen dishes), whilst she served us our 4-courses. Talk about indulgence…we felt like very important people and incredibly spoilt! What a way to spend a balmy summer’s evening in Tuscany. And guess what! It was blimmin’ delicious! We couldn’t believe we’d cooked it! We enjoyed every single mouthful and had plenty of left-overs for lunch the next day.
If you’re looking for that special treat for your holiday or honeymoon, do contact Arianna and friends, as they are the perfect guides to showcase Tuscany at its best and give you that special, luxury, personalised experience that dreams are made of.