Hey Everyone! A new obsession of mine is doing Airbnb experiences. They are an easy way to feel more like a local, try something you would never find on your own, and for me as a solo traveler – make friends!
One of the experiences I did in Florence (see full trip recap HERE) was a truffle, balsamic, and wine tasting at Conti Tuscany Flavors. My hosts Yovonne and Stefano were amazing! I ended up being the only person who booked the experience the day I went (classic), but I still had such an amazing time hanging with Yovonne and experiencing different types of Balsamic’s and Olive Oils (who knew there were so many kinds). Oh and eating her delicious food and wine pairings! I was one happy girl!
The tasting takes place in a subterranean Cantina that dates back to the 16th Century located underneath the store. The experience begins with a Balsamic presentation and tasting where you learn about the three different kinds of balsamic’s:
- Glazes (Commercial Grade) – Produced quickly using coloring and thickness. Lowest grade of the three types and the cheapest.
- Condimentos (Condiment-grade) – Typically aged for under 12 years, and is a mid-grade vinegar
- Traditional Balsamic – You may see Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia” or “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena” on the bottle. These are aged in wood barrels for 12-18 years and are the highest grade available. Look for DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) – Protected Designation of Origin on the bottle, meaning it has been certified that the vinegar was locally grown and produced using traditional methods. Prices will start around $120.
Depending on how much of a foodie you (or your friends) are will depend on how much you are willing to spend on this. For example, if you are having a dinner party you would most likely take out a glaze or condimento, strictly because of the price point and most people won’t know the difference. However, if you really want to treat yourself (or another friend who is a foodie) you might pull out your traditional Balsamic as a treat.
These pair really well with salads, cheese, and believe it or not – ice cream with fruit!
Next I tasted a few different types of olive oils. To be honest, all I remember is her talking about the acidity but I was very distracted thinking about all the food to come! I saved my appetite all day so I could fully enjoy the experience.
The food included a selection of Crostini’s topped with pesto, pate, truffle cream or truffle salsa, three paninis stuffed with salumi and highlighted with truffle cream, pesto or a dusting of organic fennel pollen and a selection of fresh to aged organic Florentine cheeses topped with a selection of wine jellies, preserves and Conti White Truffle honey. For dessert I had seasonal fresh fruit topped with balsamic glazes and Sicilian sweet creams. YUM!!
Every course and paring was DELICIOUS! I ate literally everything you see on these boards and regretted none of it.
If you are ever out traveling I HIGHLY recommend checking these out! I have had nothing but good experiences and can’t wait to book my next one!
Here is the link to the exact experience above: https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/502516?source=p2
Thanks for Stopping by!