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Cooking Class with the Accidental Tourist October 29, 2008

Posted by mk in Uncategorized.
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San Grignano

San Grignano

Last Thursday, while in Italy, I took a cooking class.  The tour company is called The Accidental Tourist (www.accidentaltourist.com) and it was fantastic.  Our guide, Jesse, was very good.  I would wager to say that the day was one of the most fun we had while in Italy and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for something to do while visiting Tuscany.

Where the Olive Oil Rests & Ages

Where the Olive Oil Rests & Ages

We did the full day.  In the morning, they picked us up in Florence and drove us out into the Tuscan hillside to the first villa and vineyard.  This villa was amazing.  It is currently owned by a family in the fashion business in Milan that uses it solely as a vacation home a couple times a year and bought it because making wine was a hobby.  We got the tour of San Grignano and learned how they make olive oil and wine.

The Wine

The Wine

It was very interesting and I can see why people would like wine as a hobby.  I also would say I have a much greater appreciation for wine and olive oil.  It takes nearly a year and a half to produce wine from the time the grapes have been picked to the point it is ready for people to drink.  And it takes so many olives to produce olive oil.  One olive tree on average produces 2 liters of olive oil.  Now I know why it is so expensive.  Make sure from now on when you are buying you get olive oil that was produced and bottled in Italy.

All the Wine We Tried

All the Wine We Tried

After the ‘how-to’ tour, we drove down to the next villa where we had a wine tasting and olive oil tasting to try everything we just learned about.  Most wine tastings are a sip of this and a sip of that.  This on the other hand was a glass of each.  Needless to say the majority of the small group was pretty intoxicated by the end of the tasting. Lesson Learned: make sure to eat breakfast before going to a wine tasting in the morning.  Though I did try everything, I can’t say that I care for wine.  However, my palate is learning how to identify the various flavors wine can have.  I was pretty impressed with myself 🙂

Our Ravioli

Our Ravioli

After the wine, we went to villa number 3.  This used to be a watch tower built in the 1100s for the castle down the road.  The family that owns it had added on more living space about 300 years ago.  It was everything you woule ever imagine a Tuscan villa to be (aside from the very modern, stainless appliances and plasma television).  People live in this house and we used their basement for our cooking class and learned how to make fresh pasta.  We made taglietelle and spinach & ricotta ravioli.  While we were making pasta downstairs, Cristiana was upstairs cooking the rest of our meal.  We joined her later to have an amazing dinner.  It started with a cauliflower something, a zucchini fritatta, and homemade pizza.  Then she cooked our ravioli and noodles for us.  I have to say, they were pretty good.  Then for dessert we had the most amazing tiramasiu (and I don’t generally care for it).

Overall, it was a fantastic day….good food and good company.  So if you get the chance, try this one out and hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.


1. » Cooking Class with the Accidental Tourist - October 29, 2008

[…] Last Thursday, while in Italy, I took a cooking class. The tour company is called The Accidental Tourist (www.accidentaltourist.com) and it was fantasticCooking Class with the Accidental Tourist […]

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