Tuesday, December 31, 2013


If you really think about it, where else in the World would you choose to live if food is really your goal in life?
To me, it is quite obvious, and probably you would agree.
The obvious and certainly the least creative, but, most universal answer would be Italy.
Which leads me to the next question: “What of the Twenty (20) provinces in Italy would you choose as your favorite Gastronomic Province?”
In real life—my wife’s mother is from the Isle of Capri—her father from Genoa.
What do you think they would say?
Obviously the cuisine from Capri and Genoa would be their answer.
Fortunately, I am from New Orleans and even though I have my favorites, my obvious choice would be ‘Tuscany’.
We all know TUSCANY is beautiful, romantic and universally the ‘Favorite’ for tourists who visit Europe.
What we don’t really realize is the amazing Gastronomic impact the Province has had on the world.
  Executive Director of the Italian Trade Commission for the U.S., Mr. Pier Paolo Celeste

Recently, I attended a ‘Uniquely Tuscan’ luncheon that focused on the Gastronomic Treasures of the Province, from Etruscan Times to the Present.
Host Pier Paolo Celeste, Executive Director of the Italian Trade Commission for the U.S. made a wonderful welcoming speech that highlights what Tuscany is all about—art, history, culture, exceptional beauty and specifically, specialty food products, which he considers are really the ‘Heart of Tuscany’.
Who could argue about the fine quality of the DOP & IGP products that include Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Miele della Lunigiana (Honey), Pecorino Romano and Prosciutto Toscano?

                                             Mr. Fred Plotkin

Renowned author of ‘Italy for the Gourmet Traveler’, Fred Plotkin and Il Ristorante Rosi host Chef Cesare Casella guided the esteemed guests through this special ‘Tuscan Table Experience’.
Mr. Plotkin is known for his wisdom, wit and intellect guided the ‘Lucky Invitees’ through a Tuscan Adventure that began with three ‘outrageous cheeses’, all Pecorino Romano DOP, sheep’s milk cheese, that began with Fresh, then Aged to Extra Aged.
My palate felt like it started with non-fat milk and ended with heavy cream—all flavors that we desire.
Add a drop of Miele della Lunigiana DOP (Honey) to the Pecorino Romano DOP and you have a ‘Marriage Made In Heaven’.
The next incredible Tuscan product was Prosciutto Toscano DOP, easily the
‘Best Tuscan Prosciutto’ I have ever sampled. Add a drop of Tuscan Olio Extravergine Di Oliva Toscano IGP to each dish and you have the Tuscan Gastronomic Adventure.

Then came the lunch—all Tuscan inspired.

Insalata Toscana alla Cesare
The Tuscan Salad—Kale Salad with Prosciutto Toscano Chips, Shaved Pecorino Toscano and Fettunata

Pappardelle del Norcino con Pecorino Toscano Stagionato
Butcher’s Pasta with Aged Pecorino Toscano

Stracotto di Maiale con Fagioli e Funghi
Braised Pork with Stewed beans and Mushrooms

Budino di Miele con Gelato di Fior di Latte
Honey Almond Pudding with Fior di Latte Ice Cream

Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Panizzi 2012
Rosso di Montalcino DOC, La Fortuna 2010

Chef Cesare Casella, owner of Il Ristorante Rosi, 903 Madison Avenue, (212) 517-7700, created a ‘Meal To Remember’.
What could be Better then a True ‘Tuscan Gastronomic Adventure?’
From my numerous Italian journeys and my hundreds of food samples from Italy, I have to admit that Tuscany, for its wine and food, is the true leader for Italian food and wine.

For any inquiries into the World of Tuscan Food and products, feel free to contact Vincenza Kelly at the Italian Trade Commission in New York.

Philip S. Kampe


Kelly M. said...

Tuscany has always been my drea, Thank you for reinforcing my feelings.
Your article was 'right on'.

Luigi S. said...

Great article!

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