Friday, 6 February 2009

Eating up Tuscany

Four days of food & wine in Tuscany is hard work.
Brunello di Montalcino wine, Cinta Sinese salumi, Pecorino cheese and espresso coffee are flowing in my blood stream, I am now soaked with the Tuscan terroir. Literally.
The trip consisted of constant and regular food and wine intake in the form of tasting sessions (in between the all important meal times) of the best in what the local produce has to offer, laced with the panoramic Tuscan landscape, medieval architecture and warm hospitality of wine, meat, cheese, olive oil and pasta producers.

And so I find myself waking up on the bus from a short nap on a Thursday afternoon, hungover from the Brunello di Montalcino wine I had at lunch and at the wine tasting prior to it. Looking out of the window Tuscany is wrapped around me; olive trees, vineyards and giant broccoli- esque trees cover the fertile hills. In the spirit of intensive farming we are groomed, fed and fattened, to be cured and consumed. Feeding sessions are not far apart, nor are the visits to wineries.
Eating and drinking all day requires stamina as well as a strong stomach.
From a wine tasting to lunch, to yet another wine, cheese and olive oil tasting before an aperitivo on the way to a seven course dinner, I have lost the sensation of hunger, or of fullness for that matter. It is only at the end of the third day that local vegetables are introduced to our menu, and in true gastronomic spirit, the lack of hunger or appetite is hardly an obstacle. Our eyes sparkle with excitement as we are served local delicacies. I must be in the right place.
My digestion system has had to work nonstop without pausing between feedings, and alcohol certainly has a soothing effect when a 7 course local medieval dinner is the case.
During the past four days approximately 4 liters of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Grappa and Vin Santo wine were consumed by each of us individually during the visits to local wineries, restaurants and producers.
It is at times like this that I dream of rice and raw vegetables, and while this eating business proves hard at times, it is a constant reminder of how happy I am. If not really full.

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