By Giulia Scarpaleggia
S.forno is a comfy bakery with classic, bohemian vibes that’s positioned in Oltrarno, one of the crucial genuine neighborhoods of Firenze (Florence), Italy, not removed from the Arno River. It’s been a forno, a neighborhood bakery, for greater than 100 years. Angelo, a neighborhood baker, baked bread there each morning for 40 years till 2014, when he bought the bakery to Il Santo Bevitore, a restaurant a few minutes away from the bakery, for which he was already baking bread. It was Angelo who handed down his expertise to Rose Hélène Govoni, who’s now the top baker at S.forno.
From the surface, S.forno remains to be the identical store, a humble bakery whose entrance door is topped by the unique signal, panificio, relationship again to the Nineteen Seventies. Inside, they saved the unique cotto tiles and vaulted ceilings and furnished the bakery with classic components: a butcher’s counter, a goldsmith’s octagonal desk, bookshelves and stools with a patina of age, and a faculty blackboard the place you may learn the every day specials.
Simply behind the counter, the bread loaves are neatly organized in baskets and on cabinets, their shades and textures a pleasure for the attention. Right here, you’ll find the flagship product of Tuscan gastronomy, pane sciocco, a white, crusty nation loaf historically baked with out salt, a bread that marries the native cheese and charcuterie superbly. Together with Tuscan bread, S.forno affords a variety of loaves, from complete wheat bread and rye flour-and-cumin loaves to Pugliese semolina bread, seeded buns, and baguettes. There’s additionally a Florentine basic, pan di ramerino, a mushy, sticky rosemary bun studded with raisins, historically related to Easter however now a fixture of the bakery. It makes for an excellent panino when filled with mortadella, Galaverna del Mugello (a neighborhood bloomy-rind cow cheese), and saba (a cooked, syrupy condiment constructed from grape should).
If you’re extra of a pizza particular person, S.forno will tempt you with focaccia, Tuscan schiacciata doused in further virgin olive oil, pizza with a number of seasonal toppings (if you happen to’re there in late summer season, you’ll be fortunate to strive the fig and prosciutto pizza), and cecina, a skinny, savory chickpea pancake native to the Tuscan coast that’s naturally gluten-free and vegan.
Wish to sit for breakfast? Be fast to snag a barstool or one of many few tables by the entrance door. Order espresso and one of many bakery’s conventional choices designed to make you are feeling at house: pane, burro, e marmellata (bread, butter, and jam, a youngsters’ favourite), pane e cioccolata (bread with chocolate), granola with recent fruit and yogurt (from the native Mugello farm Il Palagiaccio), croissants, ache au chocolat, and crostata. Pop in for lunch and also you’ll discover quiches bursting with greens, croque monsieur, crostoni with cheese and native charcuterie, panini made to order, and soups.
And let’s not overlook the candy facet of S.forno, which takes each a world and a really conventional method. On one facet, you may have a style of tarte Tatin, apple desserts, fruit pies, frangipane tarts, cinnamon and cardamom buns, cheesecakes and chiffon desserts, brownies, and cookies. On the opposite, S.forno affords a correct choice of conventional treats: torta della nonna, a pastry cream tart bejeweled with almonds; castagnaccio, a chestnut flour cake made with raisins and pine nuts; scarpaccia di Viareggio, a candy basil and zucchini cake from the northern coast of Tuscany; rice pudding tartlets (my favourite as a toddler); grape schiacciata; and biscotti.
S.forno can be a proximity or gourmand meals retailer, the place you may replenish on high-quality pasta, flour, bread crumbs (made in-house from the bakery’s unsold bread for a zero-waste method), cheese, eggs, canned San Marzano tomatoes, apple juice from Trentino, and artisanal jams and preserves.
After having fun with the beautiful baked items at S.forno, plan to spend time wandering the streets of this space, the place artisan workshops nonetheless share house alongside native shops, cafés, vintage retailers, wine bars, and family-run trattorias. It’s the right place to get misplaced and uncover Tuscan makers and flavors.
Discover extra about our travels by means of Italy in our July/August 2022 difficulty!