After canceling last year’s events due to the pandemic, the city of Prato proudly announces the resumption of its exciting taste event eatPrato. With the arrival of summer with its scents and colors accented by flavors and sensations, organizers invite foodies to visit on June 4 – 6 to meet chefs, bakers, wine producers, pastry chefs and pizza makers and enjoy food and wine in Prato’s historical center with online reservations.
The Tuscan city of Prato, 18 km. (11mi) northwest of Florence, boasts a number of local food specialties. Most famous, the biscotti di Prato, also called cantucci, a delicious almond cookie and the culinary symbol of Prato, has origins at least three centuries old. Often dipped in Vin Santo, its crunchy texture soaks up the sweet wine after a meal. Prato mortadella, a cold cut lunchmeat, contains no nitrates or other preservatives, but plenty of spice and flavor, often served with figs from nearby Carmignano. Pastry chefs take great pride in the Prato peach; not a fruit at all, but a peach-colored pastry, filled with custard, bathed in a cinnamon spiced syrup and coated with granulated sugar. The typical bread originating from peasant traditions, the Prato Bozza, comes from locally produced GranPrato flour with the recipe handed down for generations. Containing only flour, water and natural yeast, the simple bread lends itself to accompanying the tasty recipes of Prato cuisine.
The festival includes 14 producers of wine presenting 90 varieties, including the celebrated Carmignano DOCG. This robust red, known from the time of Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici, originates from nearby villages of Carmignano and Poggio a Caiano and the vines only grown on 500 acres (200 hectares).
The weekend kicks off Friday with master pastry chef Paolo Sacchetti presenting his creations to a limited audience live and streaming at 6:30 pm from the Nuova Mondo Pasticceria on Via Garibaldi.
Key events of eatPrato include dinner under the stars at Buonamici Garden on both Saturday and Sunday. Prepared by 12 chefs, six pastry chefs and six bakers, the meal should delight even the most discerning diner. Cooking shows from Manifatture Digitali Theatre include one demonstrating the cycle beginning with GranPrato flour to the finished products of bread, to pizza to the biscotti di Prato. Another features the city’s own twist on pizza with two pizzaioli (pizza chefs) revealing their secrets making contemporary pizza with gourmet accents.
For those wishing to imbibe wine and grappa with a view, tastings will be offered on various rooftops not normally accessible to the public. The tastings, accompanied by chocolate or a biscotto di Prato, take place on the terrace of the Palazzo Pretorio, the walls and ramparts of the Emperor’s Castle and the crenellated upper part of the Cassero. The events include a historical and artistic tour of the building prior to tasting.
Organizers have planned all the events to take place outdoors and are in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. The cooking shows are free, rooftop wine tasting €10 and garden dinners €45. All events have limited participants and require online booking. For complete information and link to bookings, see the website www.eatprato.it. (rita kungel)