Taste Florence 2016, the best Italian products

Taste 2016

Taste Firenze is the show organised by the journalist and food expert Davide Paolini (known as Gastronauta), where Italian producers of high-quality food meet journalists, bloggers and many food enthusiasts. This year it took place the eleventh edition of Taste from the 12th to the 14th of March in the beautiful location of Stazione Leopolda in Florence.

A not-to-be-missed event, I attended for the second year and an occasion to make a tour just in a few hours through the delights of Italy.

I’ve selected some producers, some are pretty famous and others are still undiscovered gems, to give you an overview about the goodness you could find at Taste Firenze.

PASTIFICIO BENEDETTO CAVALIERI

Paccheri Benedetto Cavalieri

From Salento, they produce an high-quality pasta since 1918 starting from the best ingredients of their territory. The best chefs choose their spaghettone, such as Massimiliano Alajmo (3 Michelin stars), or at the Milan restaurant “Il luogo di Aimo e Nadia” in their famous “Spaghetti cipollotto e peperoncino” (spaghetti with spring onion and chilli). Amazing also other pasta shapes, such as “ruote pazze” (crazy wheels), paccheri or the excellent whole wheat pasta.

ACQUA PAZZA GOURMET

Acquapazza Gourmet

During my Italian food tour last April, I discovered how it is produced the Cetara Anchovy Extract. Therefore, I wanted to meet the company Acqua Pazza Gourmet, whose Anchovy Extract was produced till last year by the laboratory I visited.
Now they have their own production in Battipaglia, and the method they use is aimed to get the best colatura: anchovies are caught off the Salerno Gulf with the cianciole (a traditional net) and the fermentation last for 20 months.
A product from the tradition that renovates itself thanks to the new spray version, specifically created for pizzerie, and a brand new format that will be presented at Milano Golosa.

OPERA WAITING 100% NATURE

Opera Waiting

Tuscan, young and enthusiast. They produce amazing bakery products from the Italian tradition, from cookies to sourdough Panettone (all year long) or Colomba (the traditional Easter treat), using the best ingredients from the territory. Some examples: PanOpera, my favourite, made with sourdough and flavoured with San Gimignano Saffron, Camomile and Whisky, or the Panettone with Ancient Grains, produced from a mix of ancient wheat, re-discovered and cultivated in Tuscany (to learn something more about this subject, read my post about ancient grains). Chapeau to Gabriele, who was already a chef and decided to dedicate himself completely to the production of amazing bakery products from the tradition, innovating the recipes and using the best ingredients.

TUTTE LE SPEZIE DEL MONDO

Tutte le spezie del mondo

Francesca with passion and expertise research and select the best raw materials to produce the freshest spices with a unique quality. As the name itself suggests, the selection could satisfy the most exigent chef, with over 300 articles among spices, pepper and chillies. The three most requested spices are currently the Green Curry, the Smoked Paprika and Sumac, a spice from the Middle East with a sour and aromatic flavour.

MASSERIA MIROGALLO

Masseria Mirogallo

Ancient varietals from Basilicata, handmade production, and natural preserves. That’s the secret of the quality of their products. I have to quote, the Peperoni Cruschi of Senise, an incredible varietal of capsicum that has to be dried and then fried, or the Melanzane Rosse (Red Aubergine), an old varietal from the Pollino area (near Calabria) with a slightly bitter flavour, which they propose preserved in evoo or as a jam.

CAPITELLI

I couldn’t avoid speaking about them, since their Prosciutto Cotto San Giovanni is the best I have ever tasted. From the province of Piacenza, they produce high quality cooked ham, selecting the porks from the territory and following ancient production methods. At Taste Firenze they presented the San Giovanni Fat Boy, a prosciutto of more than 20 kg, in addition to the classic, the smoked and the honey flavoured. A must-taste!

SALUMIFICIO SANTORO

Le Santorine

From Valle d’Itria they produce high quality charcuterie, such as the Slow Food Presidium Capocollo of Martina Franca. Their products are available at the best shops (from Eataly to Harrods), and on the social media they are more than famous. On the photo above #lesantorine.
To discover something more about their company and Capocollo, you could read my post about my visit at Salumificio Santoro.

L’ETTARO

Azienda Agricola L'Ettaro

A young farm in the heart of Crete Senesi, which produces evoo and Saffron, proposed both as dried stigma and in preserves to be eaten with cheeses and meats.
Keep an eye on their Facebook page in October and November, since they are scheduling an open day during the saffron harvesting. It’s already on my agenda!

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Taste Florence 2016, the best Italian products
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