When you have lived in Florence for quite a few years, you start to miss certain things. Initially, we all throw ourselves into the local cuisine (a bit like long-term tourists), but gradually we begin to crave the foods we grew up with or which we genuinely enjoy from other cultures than Italy. It’s also difficult coming from a country such as the UK, where there is a bewildering choice of food stuffs readily available all year round.
That’s why St Mark’s English Church Expats’ Food Guide is starting a new series of blog posts giving you information about where you can source the very best ingredients in Florence for your own home-cooking, especially if you like a wide variety of cuisine.
The ingredients for ethnic food and traditional European dishes, can all be found here in Florence, in addition to classic Italian combinations. You just need to know where to look.
Personally, I like the (perceived) restrictions of seasonal food. The fact that you can only get porcini mushrooms (or even better, ovoli mushrooms) which have been produced in Italy during the autumn months, means that I particularly look forward to their arrival and genuinely savour such foods as they become freshly available in the markets or shops.
But sometimes we just want to make a nice chicken curry or use the exciting flavour of coriander in salads, of lemon grass in puddings and Thai dishes, or where to find the best tea, mayonnaise or cuts of meat.
We want this series to be directed by you, (in parallel with our normal eating out blogs). We will probably begin with sourcing spices, coriander and all things Indian, but if you are frustrated by not being able to find particular ingredients in Florence for your favourite home-cooking, then please comment on this blog post or get in touch on Facebook (facebook.com/stmarksitaly), or on our website (www.stmarksitaly.com) and we will ensure you get the inside information you need.
‘Hot’ Pot Tip of the day: If you are craving Hellmanns Mayonnaise, you can get it in 400g glass jars in Esselunga, Via di Novoli. Use bus number 22 from the road outside SMN railway station, (the bus going towards the Palazzo di Guistitia). Open ‘til 10pm, tel 055-433908.
‘Pot Tips’ from St Mark’s English Church Expats’ Food Guide