Saving Money Whilst Self Catering in Tuscany

Friday, July 25, 2014

Saving Money Whilst Self Catering in Tuscany
One of the most enticing reasons to get a villa in Tuscany is to go out and sample the gorgeous traditional dishes. The whole experience of eating out at a restaurant can make your holiday - struggling with your phrase book Italian with your charismatic waiter, soaking up the atmosphere on a balmy evening…having the opportunity to actually use the expression ‘balmy evening’! Your holiday would not be complete without a few meals out, but costs can quickly escalate.
There’s no reason why you can’t continue that romantic atmosphere and wonderful local flavours back at your villa in Tuscany. Finding a delicatessen or market is a great way to find beautiful local produce and meet some locals. Here are a few tips, products and recipes to try on your holiday.

Where to buy food
Italy has a thriving market culture, where you can buy local food at really good prices. You can be assured there will be plenty of characters down there offering you some samples to try. You’ll find all your deli favourites including sun dried tomatoes, olives and artichokes as well as the lovely fresh produce that the Tuscan sun drenched climate is so good at producing.  There is no typical day for markets in Tuscany, but this link shows you days for various towns.

Where to buy wine
A great tip for buying cheap but good quality everyday table wine is to find a shop selling Vino Sfuso, which is wine straight out of the barrel. Without all the marketing paraphernalia, prices start at around €2 for a bottle and you can sample all the wines on offer for free! You can bring your own bottles to reuse, or buy them in the shop.

Pecorino Toscano cheese
This is a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk, which has a delicate flavour and loads of uses depending on how mature it is. When it’s completely matured it’s a perfect local alternative to parmesan, grated over pasta or when slightly younger it works really well with salads, or eaten with fresh fruit or grilled vegetables and some Tuscan honey.

Prosciutto Toscano - dry cured ham
Palma ham is often what people associate with the taste of Italy, but whilst you’re in Tuscany make sure you try the local version Prosciutto Toscano. It’s darker in colour than its more famous relative and has a more intense flavour.

A Quick Tasty Snack
While you’re lazing by the pool of your Tuscan villa, you might not feel like cooking something too complicated, so try making a traditional bruschetta. They are absolutely delicious and are so easy, anybody can recreate that authentic flavour.

Just grill a thick slice of fresh bread on your bbq or on a griddle pan, then simply cut a garlic clove in half and rub onto the toast to gently scratch off a bit of garlic flavour. Drizzle over some local extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. After that, add whatever you fancy. If you’re on a budget just stick to tomato and basil. You can’t go wrong.

At we have hundreds of villas all over Tuscany, for couples, families and large groups. You can book online or give us a call on +44 121 286 7782.

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