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Taste enthusiast? Life explorer? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s travel together through the culture of flavors and conviviality. Discover curiosities, learn about the most peculiar recipes and ingredients as well as the quintessentials. Be inspired by experiences of the finest taste experts.

Travel

Taste Guides

 

A journey through local flavors

  • Milanese classics

    Some Milanese blame the weather; they argue that lashings of veal, cream, butter and rice are needed to fight the city’s winter chill. Others blame their prodigious work rate and need to constantly refuel by way of polenta and taleggio cheese. Either way, you don’t come to Milan to diet – not with cannoncino cream horns for breakfast and risotto for lunch. In Italy’s industrial capital there is a feeling that other regional cuisines are for wimps. Sure, prosciutto and sardines are delicious but real men eat bones (ossobuco being a local classic). After all, why put only spinach in the zuppa when minestrone of potatoes, carrots, beans and pancetta will do just fine? The heartiest and tastiest of all Italian ingredients, from unctuous Gorgonzola to white truffles, find their spiritual home here in Milan. But from upscale ristoranti down to humble osterie, a twofold change has occurred. Firstly, huge immigration from Southern Italy has added regional specialties to citywide menus– such as ’nduja spicy salami – as factory workers from the Olivetti plant demand a taste of home. Secondly, the fashionistas that form a huge portion of Milan’s dining clientele have dictated a healthier change in dining habits. That means olive oil not butter to sauté the contorni (vegetable side dishes), chased down by a glass of aqua frizzante in place of a shot of hard liquor.  
  • Roman legends

    Rome, on principal, adores taking traditional dishes and creating new and exciting twists on them. Bruschetta, for instance, was originally nothing more than grilled bread rubbed with garlic and oil olive, has since become enriched with different toppings – although the original “semplice” is a classic for good reason. Likewise, supermarkets with long hours and great produce have made great cooking and inventive dishes at home even easier. One thing that remains relatively unchanged though, is coffee. Rome has notably few coffee chains. However pressed for time, however bad the traffic, every morning Romans head for their chosen bar to enjoy their first coffee served by a barista who knows whether they prefer to drink from a glass or a cup, whether they prefer black or ‘stained’ with milk. Some of Rome’s coffee shops have become iconic, and it is reassuring to see these family businesses thriving, moving through generations as they adjust to meet changing needs without compromising standards. The tradition of family businesses isn’t limited to coffee, the city is full of successful familial joints that are growing and changing constantly – and always for the better! - with the times. For instance, Angelo Feroci has enlarged its offering to include ready meals; Panella now offers freshly baked bread with enticing innovations; and Enoteca Trimani has added a wine bar to their enoteca. Quality never comes cheap, and many people only visit these shops on occasion, but they are revered and respected.

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Taste Inspirations

Secrets of taste

 

A stroll through the history of the most beloved ingredients

Amidst the holm oak of the Dehesa, a scrubby pasture dotted with trees that runs along the Portuguese border in western Spain, large black pigs snuffle contentedly for fallen acorns. It is here that one of Spain’s greatest and most expensive foodstuffs begins its life: Jamón Ibérico de bellota (Iberian acorn ham).

 

In late August, something takes hold of Italians. It’s not a fever as such, but a lust, a kind of earthy hunger. They’re hungry for mushrooms, for the porcini that sprout in the wooded hills of Piedmont, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria and the hills in Veneto. The 16th-century Italian naturalist and botanist Costanzo Felici once described the mushroom as “a very eccentric and dangerous food, better kept away from the table than dished up on it”.

The humble artichoke is one of Italy’s most treasured foods, as revered by her cooks as the likes of grappa, asiago cheese, flour and even hallowed San Marzano tomatoes. More impressive still, unlike many of Italy’s most famous foods, this lowly thistle appears to know no enemies, with devotees spread across the country – from top to toe.

 

If the image that comes to mind from the word “Switzerland” is one of steep, snow-crested mountains, then the region of Emmental provides the picture’s lush green foreground. This central region in the canton of Bern forms the basin of the river Emme, and the landscape is comprised of rolling, vivid green hills of lush grass dotted with steep-roofed A-frame houses and barns.

 

Taste Origins

Tales from Taste Lovers

Once upon a Bite

The incredible edible world of Federico Fellini

In Satyricon, Fellini’s 1969 filmic rendition of the decadent Roman novel by Petronius, greed reaches its outrageous climax.

The incredible edible world of Federico Fellini

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