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Florentine chocolate, a state secret!

La storia della cioccolata fiorentina con Villa Campestri

Florence is a city famous throughout the world for its museums and the incredible works of art housed there. But not only art, in fact, Tuscan cuisine is equally famous and not everyone knows that for many years Florentine chocolate was the most sought after food.

Incredible but true for years, the Florentine chocolate recipe was so jealously guarded that it became a state secret!

When chocolate arrived in Florence

Florence is known for world-famous painters and sculptors but also for explorers, just think of Giovanni from Verrazzano who from Greve in Chianti came to New York.

To discover the history of chocolate in Florence you have to think about explorers, regents and pirates!

Francesco Carletti, a Florentine explorer

When we talk about Florence we always talk about big names, such as Michelangelo or Botticelli, but in this the arrival of chocolate is due to a little-known Florentine merchant, Francesco Carletti.

Coming from a family of merchants, Francesco was the first private citizen to circumnavigate the globe without his own fleet, that is, changing more ships depending on where he was.

After visiting Cape Verde, West Indies, Japan, China, India and Europe and having accumulated wealth and experience, he returned to Florence poor.

On the way back, the Dutch pirates attacked the ship where he was on and he lost all his fortunes.

When cocoa arrived in Florence

In 1606, thanks to the support of the Medici family, Francesco was able to return to Florence who, in order to repay his debt, made a gift of all his knowledge to the Medici family.

As Francesco Redi, famous scholar of the Seventeenth Century and courtier of Florence testified:

One of the first, who brought news of chocolate to Europe, was Francesco di Antonio Carletti from Florence“.

The Medici family, who had always distinguished themselves for their culinary love, managed to make this discovery their own and even create a type of chocolate that is sought after for all of Europe!

The secret ingredient: Goan jasmine

The secret element of Florentine chocolate was jasmine!

Cosimo III de’Medici had received a very fragrant jasmine from the Goa coast in 1668 as a gift from the King of Portugal.

Combining these two rare and exotic discoveries led Cosimo III and Francesco Redi to the creation of Florentine chocolate.

The recipe for Florentine chocolate

The two precious elements were combined in a precious box: cocoa and jasmine.

Fresh jasmine flowers were left in contact with cocoa in a box for 24 hours and then changed with other fresh jasmine flowers for 10/12 times, in doing so the chocolate took on a unique, unmistakable and inimitable scent from other chocolatiers.

A cold process to make pralines with a sublime aroma!

Cosimo III guarded his recipe so jealously that he did not permit it to be transcribed, as a state secret could only be handed down orally!

For the jasmine he had an exclusive greenhouse built in his beloved Villa di Castello, and now the Goan jasmine is known as Cosimo III’s jasmine.

Come to Villa Campestri to discover other Tuscan secrets

At Villa Campestri, close to Florence, but immersed in nature, we look forward to welcoming you to discover the beautiful Florentine stories, from chocolate to art! We are waiting for you!

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Florentine chocolate, a state secret!

Florence is a city famous throughout the world for its museums and the incredible works of art housed there. But not only art, in fact, Tuscan cuisine is equally famous and not everyone knows that for many years Florentine chocolate was the most sought after food. Incredible but true for years, the Florentine chocolate recipe […]