Mercato nel Campo 2014 !

DSC05853The best of the winter – Christmas is coming! Probably in your city you can see it all around. So do I, here in Siena. The history center’s streets are decorated with lights and with a big Christmas tree. This makes a great and unique atmosphere that attracts us to leave our houses in the evening! With pleasure!

And as I wrote last year good moments are passing so fast! But the most important is that they are coming again. Saturday 6th December and Sunday 7th December since 8 am till 8 pm, Siena hosted: Mercato nel Campo. Weather was really good and center of Siena in the incredible crowded! It was hard to move.

DSC05810As you already know (from last year :)) Mercato nel Campo is a modern market of tradition and excellence of Siena.
On Piazza del Campo were located over 140 sales counters. We had again a great possibility to admire arts of the local artisans that performed their work live and buy handmade goods and unique Christmas decorations.

DSC05836However we are in Italy and the most important here is of course food and eating. So the most occupied were food’s stalls. Sellers encouraged us to taste and purchase their products! It wasn’t hard because after tasting it was hard not to buy to taste more! Also amazing smell in the air made you for sure hungry! Typical products that is of course cheese (with pecorino ahead); wines; virgin olive oil; huge choice of honey; meats; sweets; pasta; marmalade . . .

DSC05835After food (couldn’t be inversely of course) we could pass the other part . . . of stalls. There mostly Christmas decorations so this what we need now the most! I wasn’t able to take my eyes off stalls! So we could get something that will remind us that Christmas is so close or something that will be a very nice gift!

These two days were again priceless . . . Now we are waiting for Christmas and for next Mercato nel Campo.DSC05856

Have a nice and sunny week ! 🙂

Il Panettone!

DSC02794Let’s increase the level of endorphins! A bit of sweetness is always good for us!

Today about il Panettone that is tradition for Christmas and New Year. Lucky we got it as a gift 1st of January 2014!

It is sweet bread loaf from Milan and is a symbol of this city. But it is popular not only in Italy but also, inter alia in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Peru, Malta, Germany and Switzerland!

As I wrote the cake is derived from Milan, from the time of Ludovico il Moro, and it is still produced according to the 500 years ago. In Milan until 900 were among many bakers and confectioners to produce the cake, but today large industrial firms that are located  in Italy produce il Panettone. However in Milan are still many artisans who produce a cake according to the traditional recipe.

Il Panettone has characteristic shape (cupola shape) and packaging (1kg weight, in tall decorated boxes).

Unfortunately preparing process lasts long and involves the curing of the dough (made with water, flour, butter, eggs) which is acidic. The proofing process takes some days and gives the cake its characteristic fluffiness.

The best what you can find is of course inside: candied fruits(citron, orange); raisins ; lemon zest as well as chocolate. The result is commonly referred panetton CANDIO.

What is more here and there il Panettone can be served with crema di mascarpone.

20140105_155603Il Panettone you can find easily in supermarkets or smaller shops. You should only remember that cake is generally only available seasonally. Then only get your slice of this dainty and enjoy the great taste with a glass of sweet wine (for example Asti or Moscato d’Asti) or sweet hot beverages. Buon appetito !! 🙂
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Let’s go abroad! Why not . . . Berlin!

DSC02409This year I had an opportunity to visit for a short time the capital of Germany. I spent a great evening admiring Weihnachtsmarkt am Alexanderplatz. Although couldn’t try their Bratwurst but I tasted Glühwein and enjoyed everything all around! For a short time I could feel like in a fairy tale!

What is more in Berlin you can find much more Christmas Markets and everything takes place every evening since the end of November till the end of December!

Christmas Markets in Berlin are already finished as well as about to finish is the year 2013. But nothing is lost! If you are in Berlin next year November/December (on your way to Tuscany), you will get to like for sure this special atmosphere! I guarantee you !

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Panforte di Siena one more time . . .

DSC02279But now you can try to . . . prepare it !

Because again by the courtesy of Giulia Scarpaleggia (http://en.julskitchen.com/) you can get the original recipe for Panforte di Siena and enjoy its unique taste. The link to recipe you can find below . . .

http://en.julskitchen.com/dessert/tuscan-panforte-a-spicy-cake-from-siena

So it remains only to wish you buon appetito!! And enjoy it ! 🙂 And share with me after please 🙂

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Panforte di Siena !

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Do you remember Ricciarelli di Siena? I hope so!

Today let me introduce you another delicacy, frankly speaking my favorite-Panforte di Siena. Trust me without it you shouldn’t leave Siena. Also the most popular in Christmas time but available throughout the year. So don’t worry you can taste it and get it here when you want!

As I mentioned it is for me (next to chocolate) the best sweetness. That is why maybe I’m not objective but it is not a big deal for you I guess!?

Panforte is called as a traditional Italian dessert that contains fruits (for example candied orange and cedro peel) and nuts (mostly my almonds). It is derived of course from Siena. Can you imagine that from 13th century. It is like tasting history! What is more ‘’(…)documents from 1205 show that panforte was paid to the monks and nuns of a local monastery as a tax or tithe which was due on the seventh of February that year(…)’’(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panforte).

Panforte (literally “strong bread”) has very characteristic look – thick and dense cake. And it seems hard to prepare. But as everything to eat in Italy it is simple to make (fortunately)!

Thus sugar is melted in honey and various nuts, fruits and spices are mixed together with flour. This everything is then baked in a flat pan. So easy, isn’t it?  The taste is for me unique and totally priceless. . . For sure the most impact have spices and perfect quantity of ingredients. In Siena it is sometimes said that Panforte has to have seventeen different ingredients that  reflects the number of Contrade.

Here as you will for sure notice our Panforte occurs in a variety of sizes, tastes and wrappings. That is why price is different. But  certainly it is not a cheap tidbit!

But as you can guess for sure it is worth its price! What is more you shouldn’t even consider how much you have to pay ! Then you can enjoy the uncommon taste with for example cup of coffee or glass of wine! And certainly not only during the Christmas that is so close!

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