‘Why do we have so much fish juice and no other juice variety left?’, asked the new-comer to Florence in her still-a-little-rough Italian who had found a job working in a coffee shop in Florence’s city centre.
‘Fish juice?’, her colleagues questioned.
‘Yes, this succo di pesce – I have never sold even one bottle!’
The other coffee shop staff burst out in laughter, before one nice person explained that ‘pesce’ is fish in Italian, whilst peach is ‘pesca’.
Pesce is pronounced something like ‘pe-sh-eh’ whilst peace is ‘pes-ka’. Confusion betwen the two may arise however as the verb ‘to fish’ is ‘pescare’, and if you say that a man fishes, the verb is conjugated to ‘pesca’, whilst ‘pescatore’ means a fisherman and not someone who gathers peaches.
When you think of Tuscan cuisine, you may think of the world-class Florentine steak, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, to-die-for meaty stews and roasts. However Tuscan, and indeed Italian cuisine in general, features many delicious, traditional Italian seafood recipes.
Served raw in delicious Italian seafood starters or cooked to perfection as traditional Italian appetiser, starter or main dishes, Italian seafood recipes are perfect paired with many wonderful Italian white wines.
And indeed fishing is a much-loved past time for many a Tuscan. Pass by any river in the Tuscan region and it is not unusual to find someone patiently waiting to bring in a good catch.
There are also reserved ‘campo di gara’ areas – stretches of water reserved for fishing competitions where groups of fishing enthusiasts gather on weekend mornings to try their luck at the catch of the day.
The absolute simplest Italian fish recipe ever is ‘Carpaccio di tonno’ – Tuna carpaccio. Simply take very thinly sliced fresh tuna, lay the slices out on a serving plate and cover with a generous amount of good quality extra virgin olive oil, lots of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Let the tuna marinate in this mixture. The lemon juice will turn the tuna a little white where it has ‘cooked’ a little in the citrus. Serve as a light starter, or as a light summer-time main accompanied by a crisp fresh garden salad.
If you would like to do a small-group hands-on cooking class in Tuscany, learning to make traditional Tuscan recipes, using the best fresh produce, you could sign up for an Italian cookery course in Florence, and perhaps also a market visit where you can learn about the traditional ingredients before heading to the kitchen to turn the products into delicious, typical dishes and then indulging in a delicious lunch made by you! For more information or to register, see: http://www.italy.artviva.com/tours_category/12/cooking_classes_tuscany_florence_venice_rome.
If you’d like to explore Tuscany’s wine country to learn about ? and taste ? delicious Tuscan wines and the meals (and views!) they are best served with, see: http://www.italy.artviva.com/tours_category/14/Tuscany_Tours.
For a more general idea of things to do in Italy, covering small-group tours in Venice, things to do in Rome, guided Cinque Terre tours, or our full range of tours in Florence and Tuscany countryside tours, see www.itay.artviva.com.
Artviva is a proud supporter and member of Slow Food, and specialises in small-group, quality (and fun) tours in Florence/Tuscany, Rome, Venice and beyond. Visit www.artviva.com for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.