|Lavender and saffron gelato on the stoop.|
|Jenna with her saffron gelato on the stoop.|
One of my goals coming to Italy was to be able to order my meal completely in Italian and another was to eat gelato every day. Amazingly, both have been a lot easier than I expected! Like I mentioned in an earlier post, learning the language has been very fun for me and being immersed in the culture has made me truly want to learn all I can. Ordering meals is a piece of cake, I have even been able to carry small casual conversations with some locals! On a sweeter note, grabbing a gelato everyday has not been an issue either, there have even been a few days where I have had two servings (shhh, "calories don’t count in Europe") (quote by Jenna Rios).
This week we took a day trip to San Gimignano, the city of towers, that is located halfway between Florence and Siena . The city was built in 920AD and began to grow when the location became a popular stopping point for Christian crusaders. The tourism market escalated and the city became known for wine and the unique spice, saffron. Saffron spice comes from the dried stigmas of a flower and is used in cuisines as flavoring and coloring. The spice is very expensive and the process is very meticulous, it takes 150,000 flowers to make one kilogram of saffron spice. (Making even a small jar too pricey for me to bring some home to my mom, sorry Ma) However, I was able to taste a little of the elegant spice in my new favorite food… gelato. Our tour guide stopped in the main piazza and pointed out a world famous gelateria that had a multitude of unique flavors including saffron flavor. I took a chance and paired the saffron gelato with a local lavender blend gelato for a wonderful delight!
|Beautiful look out point in San Gimignano.|
|City of towers.|
Needless to say, I have not tried one thing in Italy that I didn’t like! There have been a few things that I did not take seconds of but one of the best cultural experiences is simply trying the local cuisine! My culinary mother will be proud!
Until next time, Ciao!