Greetings from Tuscany. As the early evenings and cooler days of autumn progress, I thought I would begin this issue of our newsletter with a wonderful recipe from Greve in Chianti.
 

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Stracotto al Chianti Classico

            
This slow cooked beef roast, perfect for a chilly Sunday in November, is hearty, delicious, and easy to prepare. Choose a high quality shoulder cut of beef, allowing approximately one half pound per person.

Tie the meat tightly and rub it with a mixture of finely diced garlic, chili peppers, chopped parsley, pine nuts, almonds, sultana raisins, and salt and pepper.

In a heavy Dutch Oven, brown the meat in olive oil on all sides over medium heat, adding 1/2 cup diced onion and 1/2 cup diced carrot. After the roast is browned, add a generous amount of pine nuts, almonds, and raisins and cover with Chianti Classico wine.

Cook three hours until wine is reduced to a very thick sauce. Slice meat and serve with sauce.

A Tuscan Butcher Shop

The recipe was given to me by the owners of The Antica Macelleria Falorni, a highly respected butcher shop that was founded in Greve in 1729 by Gio Botta and is currently run by the 8th generation of his descendants, Lorenzo and Stefano Bencistà. The first photographs of the Macelleria, taken in 1890, show that the sign-board in front of the shop was exactly the same then as it is today, in the same place, hanging above the arches of the Piazza Matteotti in Greve.

Through the various generations, a commitment to quality has been handed down from father to son at The Antica Macelleria Falorni. The family has preserved the secrets and traditional techniques related to the preparation of high quality products. The most important "secret" is to start with certified quality meats.

Therefore, only the best local meats are used ("Chianina" for beef; "Cinta Senese" for pork; and for wild boars, the use of those which have been present in the woods of Chianti for centuries).

The Antica Macelleria Falorni

Piazza Matteotti 69 - 71

Greve in Chianti

Tel 055 85 30 29

Fax 055 85 44 521

http://www.falorni.it/UK/uk_home.html

falorni@greve-in-chianti.com

The Smells of Chianti

Nature has provided Chianti with an uncommonly wide range of smells. The air is blessed with the aromas of fresh fennel, laurus, juniper, garlic, parsley, sage, and rosemary, just to mention a few of the locally grown spices used most frequently. Such a variety has led to the creation of typical "salumi" (preserved and salted meats: ham, salame, etc.), characterized by harmonious and unique flavors.

Even Chianti Classico wine itself, often added in the preparation of certain sausages and salame typically produced in Greve, contributes to the creation of that uniqueness of flavor and smell which enhances and reinforces the deliciously tempting nature of our products.

A Wine from Chianti

A delicious Chianti Classico would be the perfect accompaniment to the Recipe given above. Made primarily from the Sangiovese grape, Chianti is Italy's best known wine, and a major export product of Tuscany. Chianti was the world's first officially decreed wine producing area, given this honor in 1763. In recent years, rigorous production standards have greatly increased the quality of Chianti wines, and in 1984 Chianti became a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita).

Of the wines produced in the seven classified Chianti producing regions, the best is considered to be Chianti Classico. This wine is made in the Chianti heartland and is marked by the Gallo Nero, the famous symbol of the black cockerel.

A superior Chianti Classico is produced by the Mazzei family of Castello di Fonterutoli. Visit their web site at:

http://www.fonterutoli.com/index.html

Greve in Chianti

The medieval town of Greve in Chianti is at the center of the Gallo Nello wine producing region and as such is sometimes considered the capital of Chianti. Greve is located along the charming Chiantigiana highway, Route 222.

Greve features a wonderful number of wine shops, where the visitor can taste and experience the wines they choose to purchase. Many shops also feature the locally produced olive oils.

The charming Piazza del Mercatale, with its arcades and funnel shape, is the main attraction (after the wine) for visitors. The Piazza features a statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano, the man who discovered New York Harbor. A recommended restaurant, also named Giovanni da Verrazzano, is at Piazza Matteotti 28.

The town features a large wine fair in September, in fact, it is Chianti's largest wine fair. The fair is held on the second weekend of September and the preceding Thursday and Friday.

Hotel Express International

We have recently become affliated with Hotel Express International, offering discount accomodations in over 3300 hotels in 90 countries. Hotel Express International is an exclusive travellers club, established in 1987. It is a free booking service offering a 50% discount off rack rate. Participating hotels range from 2 star to 5 star luxury catergories.

The Hotel Express International membership entitles you to a 50% discount at hotels worldwide subject to expected availability. As a member you will also receive a personal Hotel Express Gold card and a Hotel Directory with all participating hotels listed. Amongst them are hotels from well known chains such as: Sheraton, Golden Tulip, Renaissance, Hilton and more.

To learn more about this exciting company, visit their website at:

http://www.hot-ex.com/index.asp?a=itmax

 

 
You can reach us at the newsletter, with your comments or questions, at TuscanLifeedit@netscape.net
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