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Welcome to San Gimignano (Jim-in-Yan-oh), a small medieval town near Florence, Italy. This isn’t my house you see above, but I want it, so let’s pretend it is. I’m here to take you on a journey to Florence. Our goal is simple: to see, eat and haggle as much as possible in 4 days. Along the way we’ll find enough meat, cheese and wine to make you totally forget about fruits and vegetables. But the big question still remains: will we find burro di arichidi (Italian for “peanut butter”) in this gorgeous Italian city?

Eats:

Between San Gimignano and Florence you’ll find a large supermarket just off the highway – the perfect place to look for peanut butter. Cool digital price tags and all, but is this really all they have? How depressing…

I won’t let yesterday discourage me, it’s time to rise and shine! We’re staying at Hotel Calzaiuoli, about 2 blocks from the Duomo. The buffet-style breakfast assortment consists of fresh fruit, pastries, breads, cereal, yogurt, meats and, of course, the biggest cheese wedge you’ve ever seen:

Ok, it’s time to explore. First stop is a random window filled with kegs and blue lights, representing none other than my favorite beer – Guinness!

Judging by the number of shoe stores, Italian people sure enjoy their leather and their shoes. But the women out there need to explain something to me: how can you possibly walk in this?

Lunch time! We should start off with something simple yet oh-so-delicious. How about crostini with cheese, walnuts and honey?

I’m tired from all this eating, it’s time for a coffee break. I probably had 12 cappucino’s in that 4-day time period – they are so much better in Italy! The high-class places served them with tasty treats like these:

Now it’s time to head to the San Lorenzo markets where you will find a plethora of goods for sale, especially leather ones. But don’t get too distracted or you might miss the Mercato Centrale, a large indoor market with an astonishing array of food. Despite being 1 block long and 1 block wide, it’s easy to miss since it’s surrounded by the San Lorenzo market stands. You can get almost any part of an animal here, even ones you didn’t know existed! They also have the more “standard” cuts too.

No Italian food market would be complete without an awesome old Italian man selling you fresh produce.

Peanut Butter:

Amongst the array of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheese at the market, I didn’t even think to look for peanut butter. But lo and behold, I stumble upon this!

While a much better find than Skippy, neither of these brands were made in Italy. Still, it was for sale, which means that SOME people in Italy eat peanut butter. On the plus side, I’ve never heard of either brand before so I got one of each. Want to know how they taste? You’ll have to wait for my upcoming round of peanut butter reviews that I dub the International Edition!

Filed in Other, Peanut Butter

15 Responses / Leave a comment »

  1. Hannah says:

    Eeep! I was in all these places in April last year! Happy happy memories! Oh oh oh, so hard not to just rattle off a thousand recommendations to you…. At least try to pick up some pistachio paste and Crema Novi!

    • Nick says:

      It’s such a fabulous place isn’t it? What’s pistachio paste – like pistachio butter or is it a sweeter thing, like Nutella?

      Crema Novi? Is that the white stuff in the jar in my first picture? I didn’t get a good enough look at it.

      • Hannah says:

        The pistachio pastes I found were lkike pistachio butter, though perhaps had some salt or sugar? I just remember they were the divinest of the divine. And Crema Novi is an upmarket nutella – one of the many nutella versions in Italy :) Though to be honest, I wish I’d found the Amadei ‘nutella’, which I hear exists! :P

  2. Man, when you can get that crostini your don’t need peanut butter- just get more of that! Unless you plan to top it with peanut butter…

    • Nick says:

      I know, that crostini was aboslutely deadly. I plan to make it this weekend! I probably won’t put peanut butter on it, although I could see it being pretty good actually….

  3. Debbie says:

    Nick –

    Loved your PB travel report (and the pictures!) I always look forward to your posts & will be anticipating your review of the two that you found!

  4. Shannon says:

    haha, i saw both of those PB’s on my trip!! and that crostini? yum.

  5. Tim Mosso says:

    Nice work. Especially the shoes. I only wear Italian bike shoes (Sidi, 3 pairs). My Dragon 2’s are the only shoe that can be be both ruby red and masculine. It’s a Ferrari for the foot.

    Unfortunately, you won’t get to see the Tour of Italy (Tour de France equivalent) because the race in the far north on the Austrian border right now. This year is the 150th anniversary of Italian unification and statehood, so it’s considered it’s a climber’s special.

    Actually, the Tour of California is taking place concurrently in your old stomping grounds by Davis. Keep the content coming; it’s great primer for breakfast!

  6. Robin says:

    What a neat city. I have been to Europe but not Burro-di-Arachidi..Never heard of it actually but now have added it to my list.

    • Nick says:

      Haha Robin, I think you mid-understood. “Burro di Arichidi” means “Peanut Butter” in Italian =)

      But Florence, Siena and San Gimignano are gorgeous and wonderful cities, I highly recommend them! And look for burro di arichidi while you’re there ;)

  7. Robin says:

    Yes, I did. LOL. I saw the beautiful picture of the door and it drew me into your article. I missed the Peanut Butter part. Sorry about that.

    • Nick says:

      No worries =). Besides, you brought up a good point – I never mentioned what “burro di arichidi” meant, so I added it to the first paragraph! Thanks!

  8. Monica says:

    Heeeey, you found Dutch peanut butter! (That’s the Calvé one I’m referring to). I love that brand of PB, even though the first time I ever tried it I thought it tasted like dirt (but these were my 10 year-old taste buds who were used to typical American PB (Skippy and Jif, mainly). Hope you liked it!

    • Nick says:

      Yes I did! I’ve never seen it before but I’ll be reviewing it soon (it’s an interesting peanut butter, to say the least)!

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