Tomato or the “apple of love”?

Among the edible gifts brought from Christopher Columbus’ New World, the tomato deserves a special mention for its contribution to our cultural-gourmand cuisine. Solanum Lypersicum, arrived from Mexico, with a dazzling color, full of erotic allusions, and was called the apple of love: “the apple of love changed into the tomato, also contributing to the transformation of its color between red and orange” (O. Pianigiani). Considered a decorative vegetable, very little nutritious, it’s only in the second half of ‘600, when an aristocratic Neapolitan cook book, offers the first recipe of the tomato sauce. Antonio Latini, author of the precedent delight says: “take half a dozen of ripe tomatoes, place them on the grill to brown, and mixed together with a good quality oil, you will have made a tasty sauce”.

Il BARONE – Vegan restaurant A restaurant with no sign and without business cards

In 1980, Luciano Salucci, the current owner, opens Il Barone di Porta Romana, with a goal that goes far beyond the management of a commercial activity, but rather the realization of a genuine living room, a “branch” of his own house, where he could share a gastronomic journey with his guests through local and surrounding countries specialties. This journey of culinary delights started many years ago with zuppa lombarda, transmitted to the Florentines during the Renaissance from the comacini stonecutters

“Bite into Florence”, or “Firenze a bocconi”

How many times were you suddenly surprised by a chain of pleasant memories brought by a random feeling, a smell or flavor? Just like the flavor of the madeleine for Marcel Proust, the taste of a dish or drink is capable to immerse oneself into the past, transforming it into the present. To paraphrase the famous French gastronome and philosopher Brillat-Savarin in his “Fisiologia del gusto” from 1825, we can state “tell me what you eat and I will tell you where you are”.

The Mercato Centrale A fabulous setting in the heart of Florence

Entering the Mercato Centrale in Florence is like delving into the heart of Italian and Florentine gastronomy. The complex was first built in the 1870s to house the city’s most important market after the Old Market in what is now Piazza della Repubblica had been scheduled for demolition. It was designed by famous architect Giuseppe Mengoni, who also built the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.

Caterina de’ Medici Italian style at the Court of France

It has been said that the Queen would be from a beautiful and important country just like France and that on that throne, Henry II of Valois will be waiting for her, that charming young man with a blue velvet jerkin, who looked at her with eyes proud of a glorious past and full of a bright future, from the miniature that gallant ambassadors have delivered to his uncle, Pope Clemente VII de’ Medici. But their meeting before the wedding, in Marseille, October 22, 1533, was disappointing. The bridegroom, still seduced by the smooth beauty of its mature and experienced mistress, Diane de Poitiers, at the sight of this pale 14 year old girl of small royalty, bundled up in a dress too important to her, even if approved by Isabella Gonzaga, a fashion guru of the time, was so disappointed that he almost threatened to wreck the marriage.

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