The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - March 15

Florence this weekend will host the first-ever Taste Festival which aims to present the general public with the best in food, wine and other earthly delights Italy has to offer. The brainchild of food journalist and self-styled 'gastronaut' Davide Paolini, the fair is targeted both at sector operators like restaurants, hotels and caterers as well as the growing number of people interested in authentic, quality foods.

The fair will run from March 18 to 20 and be staged at the Stazione Leopolda exhibition area here in the Tuscan capital. Over 150 exhibitors will present a broad range of food products including aged buffalo mozzarella, chocolate made from the purest cocoa butter, monkfish tripe and jams made with balsamic vinegar.

Among the special events taking place during the weekend will be an ice cream-making contest on March 18. Competing will be teams of two who participated in the recent world championships. Using liquid nitrogen, with a temperatures of -196C they will attempt to beat the world record of producing a kilo of ice cream in 13.27 seconds.

Another highlight at the fair will be an exclusive tasting of the famed Tuscan cigar, the hand-rolled Toscano. The cigars will be offered together with a variety of wines and distilled spirits. The fair will also offer art exhibits and musical events.