8 Taste

Italy may be the birthplace of pasta and pizza, but it’s also the home of Taste, the annual fair celebrating the art of food and drink. March 9 through 11 rung in Taste 8, which drew some of the world’s most celebrated chefs, passionate foodies and delectable recipes.

It was an event as colourful as an elaborate buffet table: the eighth annual Taste festival, held at the renowned Stazione Leopolda in bubbling Florence, Italy, tossed together 13,500 food lovers from over 40 different countries for a three-day-long celebration of all things culinary.

An event organized by Davide Paolini’s Pitti Immagine, the Taste fests have never failed to astound and arouse the tastebuds of all who wander down its aromatic line of displays. But Taste 8 marked

a pivotal year for the festival, ringing in more registered international buyers than ever before and catering to a group of attendees that continues to grow each year.

And it’s no wonder this event is luring in more and more foodies: attendees savoured a one-of-a-kind treat for all five of their senses. From the merry clink of wine glasses to the glistening handfuls of foil-wrapped luxury chocolates, to the deliciously confusing mix of aromas wafting up and down the corridor; from the satisfying flip of cookbook pages to, of course, the electrifying array of flavours offered at each of the stations, Taste 8 called on all corners of the culinary field to create a uniquely palatable experience that left guests tongue-tied. Not to mention all this was settled snugly in the midst of that deliciously authentic, rustic atmosphere that can only be discovered in the heart of Italy.

At the end of those bustling three days, when the candy-topped cupcakes had all been polished off and the wine glasses successfully emptied, Taste 8 came to a satisfied close. Like a family retiring to bed after an exquisitely cooked meal, the buyers, sellers, cooks and cravers left the Stazione Leopolda with a delicious taste in their mouths.

For those who missed out on Taste 8, the world-renowned festival will be back in March 2014 — and all food lovers are invited to come and get a taste.

1. This year’s Taste fest ushered in over 13,500 food lovers from across the globe

2. Succulent cheeses were among the thousands of culinary treasures to be discovered at Taste 8

3. Chefs worked their magic at the stovetop

4. The chic, simplistic style of the event program complemented the rustic atmosphere of Taste, a new culinary tradition

5. Sliced, stewed, sautéed, sandwiched: fresh meat was treated like art at the fest

6. The long hallway of the Stazione Leopolda was decked out with a colourful array of vendors

7. Taste exists to celebrate eating well and living well

8. Always a crowd-pleaser, a chocolate fondue fountain made its bubbling appearance

9. From canned to fresh, the tables were stuffed with oodles of delicacies

10. More than 280 companies presented their delicacies at this year’s event

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Amanda Storey

Amanda Storey

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