Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fruits of the Earth

 Just one more post from the Central Market in Florence, then I will get back to the real world in my own garden.  Just perfect tomatoes are these Costoluto beefsteak tomatoes. This was my lunchtime of choice in Florence, with some fresh buffalo mozzarella, olive ciabatta and a bottle of chianti! Cheers!
 Europeans seem to have a like of slightly under ripe tomatoes. This is something you hardly ever see in the UK.  Cuore di Bue literally refers to the shape Ox heart tomatoes. Another wonderful beefsteak.
 How could I resist Italian salami and prosciutto! I was in heaven!Salami flavoured with fennel, or truffle, paprika or anything you could imagine it was gorgeous!
 Fresh olive bread every day on the market. I never went hungry. Rustic freshly baked ciabatta was on my picnic menu every day, especially dipped in truffle flavoured olive oil.
 Another highlight of my trip was to go out in the  Tuscan countryside about 50 miles from Florence to Savini Tartufi - I went out into the forest to search for truffles!
 Luca (the human) and Bilba (the dog) took me out for a couple of hours hunting for truffles.  Bilba rushed around with her nose to the ground searching for the smell of a buried truffle.  When she found one she started to dig at the ground to alert Luca.  This buried treasure is found about 3 inches below the surface, usually near the root of a tree.
 This time of year the type of truffle is a blanchetto or a small white truffle.  There are different seasons for different types of truffles all year round. We managed to find 6 truffles in a couple of hours. Definitely the highlight of my trip!
apart from the truffle lunch on my return... truffle anti pasti, truffle pasta, truffle desert and truffle chocolate to finish! A true Truffle Experience! 

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