I stumbled by this small shoppe while walking along Via Tornabuoni in Florence. Ok fine, we were shopping; the street alone is a dead giveaway. It looked like a charming shop, and the word tartufati meant only one thing. It’s Truffle Time.
Entering Procacci is like walking into a turn of the century purveyor of fine goods, only it’s much older than the 20th century. Established in 1885 by Leopoldo Procacci, the original furnishings still evoke an air of shopping sophistication.
‘Considered one of the most historic delicatessens in the city, even today Procacci still represents a classic meeting place for Florentines as well as the preferred destination for lovers of specialties made with truffles.’
Gourmands and afficionados alike attempt to get a tiny table at Procacci for their sumptuous specialties made with truffles. Specifically: paninis or sandwiches handmade and seasoned with truffles, best enjoyed with a glass of Antinori wine. But since Italians love to take their time which means a table is next to impossible, the second best attempt at experiencing Procacci is to pick a product from the walls lined with shelves of products to fit your truffle fancy.
Truffles, the tuber kind, are like culinary crack. There is something abstract about its appeal since it is more about the olfactory experience it conjures up when mixed with other edible ingredients, than it is about a play on your palate. Truffles give off such an enamoring aroma, especially fresh, white truffles, that one sliver of tartufo can incense an entire plate of pasta, or leave your being in an experiential trance.
Beware of the synthetic stuff, real truffle products are in a league of their own. Should be used sparingly unless you want to get an overwhelming sense of unctuousness. Which tartufo products did I buy during my trip? That deserves a post of its own.
Via Tornabuoni, 64/r
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