Florence University of the Arts In Florence, Italy
In January 2015, I studied for three weeks at Florence University of the Arts at the culinary school of Apicius, in Florence Italy. The class focused on the “Florence Food and Culture Experience”. I learned about a variety of traditional dishes, wines, and desserts of the northern, central, and southern regions of Italy. The traditional dishes were ones that included ingredients available from the land and sea, based on the Mediterranean diet. I practiced proper culinary techniques in preparing Italian cuisine, such as making pasta and preparing breads. All of the traditional Italian dishes prepared were classified on their characteristics and properties from the region they originated. Additionally, I gained an understanding of the ingredients used in dishes and appropriate wines pairings. Friday’s class consisted of a Florence food walking tour guided by the professor as he discussed the city’s history, food at the local markets, restaurants and bakeries, which allowed the complete emersion into the local culture. In Italy there is no concern for “organic”, “ Non GMO” or “all natural” which is a complete reversal from the outlook in the United States. I embraced the European lifestyle by enjoying a slower pace, eating less processed foods, staying active by walking throughout the city, which all reflect a higher quality of life. This opportunity to travel and live in a foreign country provided me with a new perspective encompassing food and culture.