Anyone who loves food and freebies should have been at the Pitti Taste fair in Florence, Italy this weekend. If you were not, then make sure you roll your fat a** down there next year. Taste brings together high quality food and drink exhibitors from all over Italy to show off their goodies. With an abundance of food, alcohol, and sweeties being handed in unlimited quantities for a €15 entrance price, we kind souls at StudentsVille took time out of our working schedule to carry out the arduous task of trying everything on the behalf of our readers. I certainly hope you appreciate the things we do for you.
However it’s not just the usual treats that can be found at Taste. Along with the cheese, chocolates, and wine there is a multitude of strange delicacies that range from edible flowers to sardine pastes. This proved to be rather ironic, as attending Taste can leave you feeling like the very tinned fish that you are gobbling up; thousands of hungry punters swarm Stazione Leopoldo trying to beat each other to get their grubby claws on some food samples. #worthit
So let’s take a journey through the world of Taste, from the point of view of my beautiful taste buds. Here is a collection of notable samples that I had the pleasure of putting in my mouth:
The Birrificio San Quirico of Val d’Orcia in Tuscany does not only produce luxury bottled beer, but also some gooey alcohol delights. Yes, that’s right, this means breakfast time is about to kick up a gear, and there won’t be any of those strange looks that you get when you pour whiskey on your cereal.
The beer jellies come in a variety of flavours for those of you who feel that the sweet taste of lager isn’t good enough. Cinnamon, chilli, mint and ginger are just a few of the diluents that can be spotted in the product range.
Apparently, cheese is the best accompaniment to the jellies. The standard beer and chilli flavours are beautifully paired with pecorino cheese, where as the cinnamon and mint flavours go best with a French fromage.
Holler to all our veggie readers. Normally I wouldn’t be caught addressing any of you, but grazing on pretty flowers at the fair made me realise that you might not actually be rabbits in disguise, just misunderstood individuals.
The international Koppert Cress Company specialises in edible herbs, leaves and flowers. These can be used to add a subtle flavour to a certain dish, or simply to make your bangers and mash look all pretty.
Pig Parts inside Cow Parts:
I don’t know about you, but I have always dreamed of trying the minced shoulder and throat of a pig stuffed inside a cow’s bladder. Taste served as the platform for my dreams to come true. The 10kg ball of mortadella sat ominously on the Bonfatti Salumi stall, resembling a dinosaur egg that had been tied up with rope to stop it from hatching. Now don’t let the ingredients put you off, this giant meat egg is chopped up into innocent looking cold cuts that are quite the treat for the taste buds. This mortadella is best enjoyed with a glass of prosecco and some pita bread.
Caviar is a classy aphrodisiac that is famous around the world for its luxury status. Speaking to experts from Calvisius Caviar gave us some interesting insight into the expensive snack.
The sturgeon fish used to make caviar are farmed from 8-15 years depending on the quality of the product. The really brutal part comes next, as the sturgeons are sliced open whilst they are alive to extract the little eggs.
The professionals also gave us advice for anyone looking to purchase caviar. First and foremost, your tin of dead fish babies shouldn’t smell… which could be a hard concept to swallow, but in all fairness the Calvisius products did not smell bad at all. Secondly, good caviar should have a delicate taste. That is to say there should be no strong kick or intense flavour. The man at the stall also recommended eating caviar on top of a spoon of luke-warm mash potatoes, alongside a glass of champagne. Mash potatoes and caviar may seem like the food of a Beverly Hillbilly, but apparently this pairing allows the subtle taste of the caviar to be fully appreciated.
Onion and Apple Salsa:
Cascina Revignano from Piemonte creates wonderful sauces from unusual ingredients.
The sweet onion and apple salsa was just the right combination of sweet and tangy and is the perfect garnish to the cheese and crackers at your next soirée. It is equally perfect for binge eating with a block of Brie in remorse towards the money you spent on a gym membership instead of more food.
Yes. Truffle. Meat. Sausage. Get in my f*cking belly. The cured meats company called Villani from Emilia Romagna have really done a top-notch job by infusing their salami with hints of truffle. I bought three rolls of the stuff to keep in my pockets and get my fix whilst I’m on the go.
This particular salami, which is cured for over 30 days, has a minimal fat content and is made from strictly Italian pork. The type of pork used can matter a lot. These lucky Italian pigs get to live a whole three months longer than the typical European pig, which gets the chop just six months after its birthday. Italian pigs also have a higher content of good quality fats and so the taste is affected further. The truffle salami is best enjoyed with a nice rosé or sparkling wine.
So there you have it. Taste is the foodie heaven that puts a smile on the face of everybody’s inner fatty. These were just a fraction of the delectable dishes that were on display this weekend, so make sure you check it out for yourself if you haven’t already.
We would like to hear about some of the strangest foods that you have ever tried, so drop us a comment below or Tweet us.
For more information about the event as well as the exhibitors who participated, see the website here.
If you would like to see some HD pictures of our trip to Taste, take a look at Natalie’s photo article.