While we still had our previous company, Sugar and Spice (we sold it in 2015), I had an idea in my head of starting a food tour. Whenever I went on vacation, I would always try to take one myself. I would remember back to the very first food tour I took in Florence, Italy. I loved it so much, I decided to go back, but this time around with my wife and two daughters. I also used that tour as inspiration in creating my own food tour. Originally, I surprised my then-girlfriend, now wife, with a food tour reserved for us. We arrived at the apartment where the tour was located, and we then met the hostess, Judy Witts. She was originally from California and was living in Florence.
After some small talk, we left the apartment for the central market. We talked to food vendors, and while chatting with them and trying some ingredients here and there, we decided on what to cook.
One of the vendors who sold olives heard that we were from Argentina and his eyes lit up. He started offering all kinds of things for my wife and me to try. He had family in Argentina. At that point, I wasn't going to clarify that I was actually from Chicago. I was not a big olive eater, and I'm still not a huge fan, except when I go back to the Mediterranean. I find such a huge difference between the olives here in Argentina versus Italy, Greece, and Spain that I can't bring myself to eat them here. The ones he had me try were amazing.
Where I find them so salty and aggressive tasting in Argentina, I find them sweeter and more balanced over there. I loved them so much that I bought some and had them vacuum-sealed to share them with my father-in-law, who loves olives no matter where they come from.
We finished buying all of the ingredients for our meal and then went to the wine shop to get some wine, followed by the bakery for the bread.
We arrived back at the apartment and cooked, and then sat down to eat. It was such a great experience. I loved this so much that almost 20 years after that first tour, we went back, and this time with our two daughters that weren't around back then.
This time, Judy was in a small town outside of Florence, and we rented a car to drive out to her. The central market takes place in a plaza with food trucks.
Like last time, we met some of the stand/truck owners, chatted a little, tried some of the ingredients, and decided on what to cook...
I literally wanted to eat at every single truck we stopped at, but I knew that wasn't possible...
We made our way back to her apartment and started cooking...
This time we brought some extra help...
And we had an amazing lunch!
Thank you, Judy!
If you are in Florence, you should give Judy Witts Francini a call and reserve a day of cooking with her. The food is amazing, and you will have wonderful memories besides a full stomach.
You can visit her website and other social media accounts by using the following links below:
Website: Divina Cuccina; Facebook; Instagram; Twitter; Pinterest and YouTube.
And what does this food tour in Florence, Italy, have to do with AsadoAdventure? It was always in the back of my head while creating my own experience for visitors to Argentina. People can visit any of the famous or popular grills when visiting the country. Still, many never get to experience a home-style, hours-long asado that Argentina is really famous for.
I invite you into my home; we start the fire together; you make the chimichurri; you help put the salad together; we shop for ingredients visiting the butcher, the wine shop, and the bakery; while we go from store to store, I also give you a little bit of neighborhood history, and we visit some of the best street art this neighborhood exhibits.
And like Judy's food experience, I hope you end up not only having a great time, enjoying some great food and atmosphere, but you also end up having some wonderful memories of your visit to Argentina.