Exploring Tuscany, one dish at a time.
Juan and I were talking about travelling the world one day, when we get enough courage to pack up our bags, leave our normal routines and desk-bound jobs and just hit the road (or the airport), destination currently unknown.
I do insist all the time on eventually travelling to Italy, especially now that I’ve finally and very happily started on “A Thousand Days in Tuscany” by Marlena de Blasi, and the book’s very vivid descriptions of the local Tuscan cuisines as revered by the villagers in the small village of San Casciano captivates me no end.
San Casciano, basking under the Tuscan sun
Zucchini Blossoms actually exist?
Among the first dishes Marlena is introduced to on her first day toasting and being welcomed by the villagers, who have very generously and kindly helped her and her husband Fernando move into their new house (or a stable to be more precise), is an exquisite dish of deep fried zucchini flowers.
That was a completely new, mind-opening introduction to Tuscan cuisine, which in the first place I am completely unexposed to. The idea that flowers could be eaten, transferred from your plate to your mouth, instead of simply being the centerpiece decoration as more traditionally known, was quite astonishing.
First of all, I didn’t know zucchini had flowers! Secondly, I couldn’t really imagine how these flowers would taste like – their velvety petals seem out of place in the deep frying oil – and how could anyone possible want to destroy petals by submerging them in boiling hot oil that could eventually cause the petals to crinkle and dry up?
I decided I would google recipes by others who have made this dish before, and I found a great Fried Zucchini Blossoms recipe by Charlotte au Chocolat. Charlotte has a detailed step by step recipe as well as pictures of the entire process, before and after the blossoms are fried, and even compares different methods of cooking them.
For a more visual understanding of this very exotic Tuscan dish, here are some pictures from Charlotte’s blog.
Fresh zucchini Blossoms
Deep Fried Zucchini Blossoms