Florentine is a collection of recipes and photographs from Tuscany’s capital. Emiko Davies draws on her lived experience of traditional Florentine cuisine to share recipes that transport readers to the piazzas of Florence. From her torta di mele – a reassuringly nonna-esque apple cake – to ravioli pera e ricotta – mouthwateringly buttery pear and ricotta ravioloni – allow yourself to be taken on a culinary tour through the city. Florentine is a unique stroll through the city's streets, past pastry shops bustling with espresso-sippers, hole-in-the-wall wine bars, busy food vans and lunchtime trattorias, to reveal why the people of Florence remain proudly attached to their unchanging cuisine – a cuisine that tells the unique story of its city, dish by dish. From the morning ritual of la pasticceria (the pastry shop) and il forno (the bakery), the tantalising fresh produce of il mercato (the market) and il maccellaio (the butcher) through to the romance of la trattoria, Davies expertly guides food lovers through the Renaissance city. Be swept up in the atmosphere of Florence’s street food scene with a few bites of crunchy crostini with fig compote and prosciutto, or savour a silky gelato of hazelnut and crema.
With a nod to Florence’s rich history, Florentine offers some much-loved traditional dishes, such as schiacciata fiorentina (orange and vanilla cake), apricot jam crostata (apricot jam pie), piselli alla fiorentina (peas cooked in tomato sauce) and cinghiale con le olive (stewed wild boar with olives). Seasons and long-held food traditions play an important role in the Tuscan kitchen and this is reflected in every Florentine menu, bakery window or market stall.
Davies says that one of the things living in Tuscany has taught her is that there is no such thing as Italian cuisine; rather, Florentine is about offering readers a local's perspective on one of the country's 20 regional cuisines. In this case, the one that has won her heart.