sabato 9 agosto 2014

Il Buon Giorno si vede dal mattino...

Monday morning homemade croissants- all other days fresh from Pasticceria Banchelli

Besides the wonderful history, sites, artwork and nature, I believe that one of the biggests draws for a visitor coming to Italy would be the food and wine.  The very fine wines of the Val d'Orcia- Brunello of Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are always high on the lists of things to be tasted when a traveller arrives in Tuscany. The Florentine 2 lb t-bone chianina beefsteak, ribollita  bread and vegetable soup (even in sweltering summer heat) are almost always sought after as a  culinary experience not be missed. It's wonderful that travellers are becoming more aware of the fact that some of the most rewarding travel experiences are due to the fact that things are not like home. It is not just doing the things you do normally with a change of scenery.

Many feel that the ueber-cool thing to do is to do everything "like  Italians" to have the most authentic experience while you are on your trip - while scoffing at things that "tourists" do. I agree wholeheartedly that moving in the circles that locals do definitely creates a unique experience which can enrich anyone's trip. 

Easter Brunch at Casa Chilenne always includes homemade Ciaramiglia
When it comes to breakfast, the Italian way is a bit different than other places in the world. It is many times broken up into a few coffee breaks spaced throughout the morning. A quick coffee upon rising at home, or  tea and a few pieces of melba toast or cookies, then a dash out the door towards the workplace or school. A pastry and capuccino at the local bar before starting work or school and then a scheduled mid -morning pause at about 10 am or so for a small sandwich or pizzetta, or another pastry and cup of coffee. Breakfast in the Italian tradition is great for people watching and observing  local behaviour at the coffee bar, however, many foreign guests find it to be a bit lacking in substance.
The exception to this would be Cortonese easter breakfast which features umbran cheese bread, tuscanissimo Ciaccia con la ciccia, hard boiled blessed chicken eggs, salami ,  and local egg-brioche style cake/bread with candied fruit and anise called Ciaramiglia.and of course the tradiional dove shaped brioche bread called La Colomba, a yeasted egg bread, studded with almonds and  candied orange peel , glazed with an almond  meringue icing 

When we started the bed and breakfast, we made a conscious decision that we would definitely serve our breakfast on site. We planned our restoration with a breakfast room and kitchen to this purpose. We researched the best local roasted coffee (Moka Più from Arezzo, in our opinion) and made it a priority to offer fresh-baked pastry from Cortona's historic Pasticceria Banchelli daily (except Mondays when they close or bake just for themselves) as well as a homemade sweets,  high quality yogurts, cereals,  local cold-cuts and cheeses and be sure to have fresh fruit available each day.  We also offer more than 20 varieties of Twinings' collection of teas and infusions as well as hot chocolate and orzo barley coffee for non coffee drinkers.  Most of the people around us said, "Why do you bother doing that? Everyone else just gives people a voucher to go to the bar."
Although it makes perfect sense from an economical point of view; no need for breakfast staff, supplies, linens or dedicating a space to breakfast, no waking up at 6:30 each morning and setting tables each night -the concept of having a bed and breakfast meant just that to us. Not a bed and coupon or voucher-for us bed and breakfast means only that. A stay with us should be special and breakfast should be a time to relax and start the day off right.

Cinnamon rolls
Yeasted Waffles with seasonal fruit
We can serve the coffee gulp and dasher as well as the leisurely breakfast lover. We've extended our breakfast menu to include eggs and bacon cooked to order as well as American style waffles and real cultured buttermilk pancakes on request, served with seasonal toppings or with the classic topping of real, organic Canadian maple syrup. We were pleased to find that our guests appreciated this option, both those native to countries where these dishes are common fare at breakfast time as well as travellers who had fond memories of enjoying them while on vacation in the UK or Canada or the USA. Most surprising are the guests who have spent time working or studying in the US, UK or Canada and plan a stay with us specifically to enjoy the morning ritual of a  leisurely, fresh cooked breakfast and share this experience with friends or family who have never experienced  it.  What better way to slow down the pace and  thoroughly enjoy one's holiday?

scrambled eggs and bacon

Nessun commento: