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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Fantasy Entertaining - Tuscan Style

Posted: August 24, 2005
by: T.Alexander

We all harbor fantasies about extreme entertaining. My favorite fantasy is entertaining with authentic Tuscan style food, decor and atmosphere. The attraction for me is simplicity and focus on family...the outdoor breezy portico, picnic table made of aged lumber, focaccia bread, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Chianti. Can you feel it?Tuscan_wine_1

I've found numerous resources to help achieve the fantasy. Try thte Art of Cookery web site where you can access authentic and traditional Florentine, Tuscan and Italian recipes and wine suggestions. There's even a glossary where you can learn the lingo. Ever hear the term finocchiona? It refers to Tuscan style cold cured pork; usually spicy and flavored with fennel seeds. A nice thought for your next dinner party appetizer. They even talk about the three essentials of Tuscan style cooking - bread, olive oil and wine. Much like the holy trinity in Cajun cuisine.

Now if you're ready to take Tuscan lifestyle to another level, a must read is Cheryl MacLachlan's Bringing Italy Home. Cheryl makes decor suggestions all the way from the living room to the dining room. She explains the differences in regional flavors from Tuscany to Umbria to Venice and Milan. My favorite chapter deals with designing a warm kitchen using terra-cotta directly from the hands of the artisans. You'll really enjoy "Don't Cut The Spaghetti!" a special feature on making and eating pasta properly.

If you're looking for a gourmet food gift and you wish to send the warmth of Italy, remember GourmetStation's collection of Tuscan style prepared cuisine. From four course dinners featuring Chicken Saltimboca to the soup collection Wedding_tomato_florentine featuring Italian Wedding Soup to hand made appetizers featuring Tomato Bruchetta, it's not just food in a box - it's an experience; Tuscan style.

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