Cooking Trip Disasters and Mistakes, burns and spills etc. can happen so avoid them with the following information.

The Women’s Travel Group has returned again from  the most marvelous cooking and sightseeing trip Tuscany to Tuscany which we repeat every year. Each day we cook and eat what we created either for lunch or for dinner. Some items like biscotti are also for snacking. Each afternoon we visit a charming Italian town: Lucca, Siena, Florence, San Gimignano. We also include  chocolate and wine tasting venues.  Tuscan food uses mainly olive oil, sofrito (garlic, onion, carrots finely minced), rosemary, and tomato. Desserts have much orange and chocolate and less sugar than Americans cook with. Ingredients are available in the US; some like vanilla sugar you can create yourself. Others like Sicilian oranges in season, might be hard to locate.

The overall experience is perfect;  due to the fact that our villa is a luxury, renovated formerly a farm house, with  private bedrooms each with a private connected luxury bathroom, several sitting areas, tv’s, several farmhouse dining areas and views over the vineyards and rolling Tuscan hills..

Here are our tips which you should match up with your interests and personal diet and travel needs.

If you are on a special diet, discuss this ahead of time. You will not want to cook/eat food if you are extremely limited. We can cater to most diets; however, is it fun to miss the whole experience? Gluten free is not a problem in Italy fyi. 

You need to drink a lot of water on all travels. Our trip also includes wines at lunch and dinner and Prosecco. It helps if you can drink the water from the tap which one can in this area. If you are a non drinker, do not judge those who imbibe and perhaps try a local Orangina?  Italy is famous for its wines and you will get to know inexpensive wines you can buy at home.

Be patient. Chopping garlic the professional way takes time as do other knife skills. Doing the cutting right will make a huge difference in your results.

Try new foods. Perhaps you do not like rosemary, i’s a strong pine odor. Well in sofrito, it changes taste to authentic Italian flavors.

You need aprons; making pasta is messy with flour flying around. Most of us admitted that once home, we did not replicate the pasta experience. However, the magic of doing it yourself was worth the time. Pasta in Italy can also be found made from corn and rice. Our guide suggested the corn pasta as better tasting. There are whole sections in supermarkets if you want to bring gluten free pasta home.

Finally the chef should eat with you so you learn and get to know the country through local people. Bring your questions with you. There is a terrible regret about having a question and forgetting to ask! And write down the answers; we guarantee that after a few glasses of xxx, you will forget.

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