Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Wine Truck

Looking out the window of our apartment during our 2012 trip to Florence, Italy, what do we see but a wine truck making its deliveries!

Of course there would be a wine truck! After all, it's Italy!

I wonder if I can convince the wine man to make a delivery to Arizona.

Ciao!  : ))

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dario the Butcher

If you’re in Tuscany, make time to visit the small town of Panzano, about a 1.5 hour drive south of Florence. As towns go, it’s a small Italian town like many others.  Why, then, would you go? For the butcher, of course! Yes. The big tourist attraction in this little town is – the butcher.

Dario Cecchini's macelleria, or butcher shop, stands in the same site as his family’s shop that was destroyed during WWII. In his shop, you can buy unusual cuts of quality meat and you can also be educated and entertained because, not only is Dario an excellent and creative butcher and a cook, but he’s also a one-man show. From his “stage” behind the counter Dario entertains his audience with smiles, conversation, information, loud friendly bantering…and he sings too.

Dario has come from a long line of butchers in Panzano - 600 years long.  Some say Dante Aligheri and Leonardo da Vinci both bought meat from the Cecchini butchers. Dario, himself, has been a butcher for 38 years.

Besides his personality, Dario’s specialty is quality cuts of meat and prepared dishes. A favorite of visitors is his seasoned lard pig’s head. That's right - lard! For tourists, a little dab of the lard spread on a crust of bread is heaven.

Late afternoon Dario's energy is at its height and the crowd thickens. Out come the appetizers and wine and the fun begins. Still hungry? Hopefully, you've made a reservation at his restaurant above the shop, Officina Della Bistecca,  where the delighting of your tastebuds will continue.

An assistant prepares the goodies.

Dario and his wife, Kim, treat their customers like family and do what Italian families do - share food and wine and then, enjoy the pleasure of their company.

Ya gotta check out Dario's site, especially the videos!