ZàZà’s culinary delights with Orange – Florence

Portuguese citrus fruits

As promised in my previous post on Florence, today I will be sharing some Tuscan dishes with you. You know by now that I like tasty and straightforward, so this time again nothing complicated but delicious!

“Arance speciali” 

We will start with this orange dessert from my favourite restaurant Zà Zà in Florence. Italians often eat fruit after dinner and this dish is an easy way to make something special out of an “ordinary” orange. Of course, I used Portuguese oranges …… because nothing can compete with them 😉. After my culinary excesses in Florence, I am now forced to follow a low-calorie diet, but you can combine these orange slices with ice cream, yoghurt or cantuccini, those delicious almond biscuits from Tuscany.

“Arance speciali” 


Serves 6:

* 6 large oranges (peeled and cut into horizontal slices)
* 1 mandarin (peeled and divided into segments)
* 2 slices of lemon
* 2 cloves
* a small cinnamon stick
* 100g granulated sugar
* 3dl dry white wine
* 1dl water

Preparation :
Pop the mandarin segments, lemon slices, cloves and the piece of cinnamon stick into a thin cloth bag and close. Pour the wine, water and sugar into a saucepan, place on the heat and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils drop in the pre-prepared cloth bag. Leave to simmer, stirring often until the sauce takes on a syrupy consistency. Now remove the bag and squeeze it really well to drain out the last drops of juice. Arrange the slices of orange in a glass bowl and cover with the syrup. Leave to cool and then place in the refrigerator for an hour or two

“Arance speciali” 

Trattoria ZàZà

But first a little more about restaurant Zà Zà, or more accurately trattoria Zà Zà, my absolute favourite in Florence. Their decoration alone would make you want to go there but their cuisine is fantastic too, delizioso! If you ever get the chance to eat at Zà Zà, then I strongly recommend their special truffle menu. I so enjoyed the bruschettas and the linguine with fresh truffle! In ancient times the truffle was considered to be the food of the gods, rich in aphrodisiac powers and therefore very popular with Jupiter. I knew there was an explanation for my truffle love 😊. Unfortunately, truffle is very expensive and not always easy to obtain so the second recipe is not with truffle but a delicious recipe with chicken and orange “Pollo porchettato al sapore di arancia” and there is nothing wrong with that!

For those who still would like to adventure with truffle, here is an “Italian” link to a very simple recipe, don’t panic, it’s a very clear video and otherwise, there is always Google translate https://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Fettuccine-al-tartufo.html

Trattoria Zà Zà

All the rooms in the Trattoria radiate an enormous charm and they are full of history.

Trattoria Zà Zà

You’ll find Trattoria ZàZà on the “Piazza de Mercato Centrale” in the historic centre of Florence. This Mercato is a large covered market. On the ground floor, the market vendors sell all sorts of fresh products and on the first floor, there are several lovely eateries. A visit to this beautiful building from the year 1874 is definitely worthwhile.

Mercato Central Florence

“Pollo porchettato al sapore di arancia”


Ingredients – serves 4:

* a 1.2kg chicken with liver still attached
* 100g pork belly
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* wild fennel
* 1 garlic clove
* 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* peeled segments of 1 orange
* 3 half-slices candied orange
* juice of 2 oranges
* 2 knobs of butter
* ready or home-made stock
* salt and pepper

Preparation :

Clean the chicken, remove any yellow fat globules or feathers from the chicken and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Now coarsely and finely chop the pork belly, chicken liver, three half-slices of candied orange, one sprig of rosemary (leaves only), fennel and garlic clove. Generously season with salt and pepper and spoon the mixture into the chicken cavity, sewing closed with kitchen string. Season the chicken, including the outside, with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil together in a saucepan and add the other sprig of rosemary. Allow the flavours of the oil and butter to merge, then pick out the rosemary and carefully place the chicken in the pan along with the peeled orange segments. Brown well, add two tablespoons of orange juice and cook, with the lid on, for fifty minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a few tablespoons of hot stock. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Drain almost all of the cooking oil from the pan before adding the remaining orange juice plus two or three tablespoons of stock. Deglaze, removing all of the sugars that have formed at the bottom of the pan then after a couple of minutes remove from the heat and stir in a small knob of butter, dipped in flour. Shake the pan to allow the sauce to thicken nicely. Pour over the chicken and decorate with a few slices of orange.


And today “last but not least,” we end our culinary journey with the recipe for a real Florentine cocktail called “Negroni”. The Negroni was born in Florence in 1920 when Conte Camillo Negroni decided that after many years he wanted to drink something different. He asked the bartender to replace the soda water in his customary Americano with Gin and thus the Negroni was born.  If the Conte was still alive I would kiss him!

Maybe a small warning is in order……. it is strong!

Ingredients :
3cl Campari bitter
3cl Martini Rosso
3cl Gin
ice cubes
1 or 2 slices of orange

Fill a tumbler/whisky glass with ice cubes and orange slices and add the 3cl Campari, 3cl Martini and 3cl Gin. Stir well and voilà your delicious cocktail is ready.


In my previous post you will have read how I fell in love with Michelangelo during my stay in Florence. My love for his works of art lured me to Rome on the last day of my stay. When my teacher at the “Europass” school discovered that I was completely under Michelangelo’s spell she said ” You have to go to Rome and visit the Sistine Chapel!”  My natural reaction to this was… how? After all I only have one day left and I am in Florence….. And then came the redeeming answer …… the high-speed train!  So soon I will take you with me for a flash visit to Rome. It was there in Rome that I discovered, much to my surprise, that my love for Michelangelo wasn’t very faithful………. Suddenly there were more candidates – Raffaello Sanzio, Caravaggio (Michelangelo) and Sandro Botticelli 🤗! So, I decided to love them all.

I think that apart from a few Chinese tourists no-one has seen so much of Rome in only 7 hours as I have. That also includes a short meeting with my very friendly “pen” friend Luca. 

A Presto !



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