Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Eating Seasonally in Tuscany

When we booked our winter vacation to Tuscany, we knew we wouldn't be eating fresh vine-ripened tomatoes. What we didn't expect is that our hosts Laura and Luciano at Il Canto del Sole would eat seasonally to the point of consuming almost no fresh produce in the wintertime. With the exception of Clementine oranges and persimmons from Sicily, and storage vegetables like carrots, onions, garlic, and pumpkin, our diets for our 11-day vacation (Christmas day through January 4) consisted primarily of homemade pasta, eggs, meat, bacon, cheese, pizza, bread, and of course, gelato (which, according to my definition, is always in season). Not that I'm complaining. The food was fabulous and we all loved the simple Italian meals that Laura and Luciano prepared daily for us. The pumpkin lasagna we had one night was especially wonderful. It was made with homemade noodles and melted in my mouth. Meals eaten out also were made with seasonal ingredients so ordering insalta mista (which was always on the menu but never available) was simply out of the question. Instead, we ate thin-crust pizza, like the one pictured here, throughout our travels in Tuscany.

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