Program 285a: Italian Food Culture; The Perfect Tuscan Picnic

Release Date: 07-26-2014


Italian food expert, Fred Plotkin, takes us wide-eyed visitors deeper into the culture of enjoying a good meal in Italy. Jamie Blair Gould, a tour guide from Lucca, helps listeners assemble the ingredients for the perfect Tuscan picnic.


  • Fred Plotkin, author of "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler" (Kyle Books)
  • Jamie Blair Gould, tour guide based in Lucca, Italy
  • Closing essay from bicycle adventurer Willie Weir

Related Links

  • The New York Times writes about the cooking schools in Lecce.
  • Fred was a guest blogger with a Q and A series for the New York Times
  • In the web extra, Fred recommends the Caffè Pedrocchi as a good caffè storico in Padova, and Zingerma's in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a domestic source for authentic traditional balsamic vinegar from Italy.
  • Jamie Blair Gould recommends the morning Mercato Centrale as one of the best places for fresh produce in Florence.
  • Peck is a major gastronomic Italian delicatessen in Milano.
  • Trionfale is one of the largest corner markets in Rome. 
  • Information about the Slow Food Movement, which started in Italy in 1986.
  • Bicycle adventurer Willie Weir's website includes a link to his latest book of travel essays, "Travels with Willie," and a blog about his recent advevntures.

Program Extras

More with Fred Plotkin - Fred Plotkin tells Rick about his favorite historic café in Italy, chats further with callers about traditional balsamic vinegar, and names his favorite regions for eating in Italy. (runs 5:17)