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cooking methods for Suzanne was seeing things made from start to finish using entirely organic ingredients. In the central region of Tuscany, organic farms are ubiquitous and multiplying. Back in the United States, the organic products are less available and more expensive. “I don’t think I will find tomatoes like this in Washington,” she says about the fresh puree in glass bottles used in several recipes throughout the week.   Dedicated local consumers and the seasonal agricultural tourism has helped maintain sustainable farms that produce meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, wine and oil organically. This region of Italy has resisted the globalization of food and remains a purist in many ways. With the exception of the younger generation of Italians, the attitude on food is so regional and traditional that a person from Tuscany may refuse to use pesto in their cuisine because it comes from the Liguria region. Those convictions are practically absent in North America, Australia and some parts of Europe, where many people enjoy a night out for Chinese, Mexican, Thai or Indian food.  Adventurous eaters will continue to fill Organic Tuscany reservations for next year’s season of cooking classes. Those newly educated Italian cooks will return home full of culinary inspiration and may hunt for organic parmesan or tomatoes in the supermarket, but will have a difficult time locating a community that places such an immeasurable value on food like the Tuscans do in everyday life. n  

Top left: Cristina Rinaldi, sommelier for Organic Tuscany, describes a local white wine before Ian Lamshed and wife Helen Weaven sit down for the welcoming dinner. Bottom left: Allan Katz convinced his wife Suzanne to join him for cooking classes in Italy despite her anxiety about flying. “Organic Tuscany has exceded my expectations,” he said at the end of the week. Bottom right: Suzanne Katz snaps a photo of the sunset in Siena. Top right: Linda MacDonald, Allan Katz, Helen Weaven and Dan MacDonald explore a room of biblical texts in the Duomo in Siena, Italy. 39


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