Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
A book that explores the history of Florence’s cuisine, while touching on the equally fascinating culinary traditions of the Florentine Chianti.
This is the common thread that has characterised the research of Milko Chilleri, journalist and food and wine enthusiast; a narrative journey that retraces the culinary tradition of an important city, Florence, and the Chianti area, that was once merely seen as its countryside.
Starting from the Middle Ages, and arriving at the present day.
All his knowledge has gone into his book, entitled “A Tavola da Firenze al Chianti. Un viaggio nel cibo e nel vino. Materie prime, ricette e vicende storiche” (“From Florence to Chianti. A journey through food and wine. Raw materials, recipes and historical events”), published by Chianti Multi Service editions.
This is an emotional journey in search of what’s hidden behind the most famous Tuscan recipes, that have always reflected the history of these people and their territory. But it also shows us how the Florentine countryside rediscovered its gastronomic identity. Once merely a place that supplied raw materials for the city, over time this area has become aware of its rich and varied cuisine and its extraordinary products.
Bread, meat, cured meats, olive oil and wine, all appear in an itinerary that begins in the Florence of the Middle Ages. At that time different kinds of food and condiments were symbols of people’s socio-economic condition, as in the Renaissance, an age in which elaborate dishes were created to show off the grandeur and standing of the lords.
Without neglecting the ‘poor’ dishes, ancient peasant traditions that have been fortunately handed down to the present day, and today appear in the menus reinterpreted by famous chefs.
This is a pleasant and original book, full of anecdotes, curiosities and delicious recipes, but – as Chilleri is keen to point out – it’s “not for everyone”, as it’s not a mere recipe book but a collection of interesting interviews with “insiders”, including historians, writers and enthusiasts but also restaurateurs, winemakers, butchers, great chefs and expert cooks.
Thanks to the numerous QR-Codes, printed inside the book, “A Tavola da Firenze al Chianti” allows the user to access, with a simple click of the smartphone, the thematic trailer and all the video interviews made by the author, thus offering a fascinating interactive experience.
The book was published under the patronage of: Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, Consorzio Olio Dop Chianti Classico, Consorzio pane Toscano Dop, Associazione Cuochi Fiorentini, Rotary Club San Casciano Chianti, Rotary Club Firenze Lorenzo il Magnifico, and with the contribution of the Banco Fiorentino Mugello Impruneta Signa.
Lisa Volpi (Chianti Multi Service) says: “We welcomed the idea of Milko Chilleri who, in his book, retraces the culinary history not only of Florence, but also of an important territory, the Florentine Chianti, skilfully weaving history, anecdotes and characters into local traditional dishes and products. An original book, full of encounters and tricks of the trade, ancient recipes and brilliant gastronomic reinterpretations. We decided to embark on this project, precisely to promote and share the knowledge of the Florentine Chianti area”.
For Carlotta Gori (Director of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico), “Chianti is a keyword, for some it’s a goal, for others an eternal search. It’s an identity. Our Chianti Classico evokes dreamy Tuscan landscapes and top-quality red wine. It’s a symbol of Tuscan culture and a rich food and wine tradition. Chianti Classico is also a food-pairing wine par excellence. Local food is often seasoned with the other symbolic product of our land, the Chianti Classico DOP olive oil. And Milko Chilleri’s book talks about all this, with great passion and originality”.
Leonardo Romanelli, journalist, gastronome and sommelier, concludes: “Every now and then is goo to focus on Florentine gastronomy in more depth. About what it’s become today, and about its dishes made with excellent and top-quality ingredients, which enhance the taste with simple but effective preparations. Is it a boring and repetitive cuisine? In reality, tradition shows that this is not the case and that, above all, traditional dishes have always maintained their place, while the context around them has changed”.