Bellinis in Siena: One of My Most Profound Taste Memories

There is something about Siena.  Z and I decided to spend an afternoon exploring this Tuscan city after a morning of wine tasting during our honeymoon.  We fell in love instantly and, to this day, count it as one of our favorite places in the world.  Everything about it just felt right.  From it’s black and white striped Duomo Cathedral to the vast and enchanting Piazza del Campo, it was ripe with the energy of Florence while maintaining all of the charm and idyllic peace of Tuscany’s country-side.  A balance was struck and we were thrilled to teeter along the edges of these delicately woven parts.  We settled into two cozy chairs at a cafe perched at the edge of the Piazza and absorbed our surroundings for hours.  I ordered a bellini – peach puree topped with prosecco.  I had sampled several throughout our two week adventure and they had all been good.  Nothing could have prepared me for the bellini at Liberamente Osteria.  It made an indelible impression on me; a rare experience, evoking feelings of excitement, happiness, of being overcome.  This was a food memory that would last with me forever.  I have tried, again and again, to recreate the magic of this bellini.  I know my efforts will remain fruitless, but I do manage to transport myself to the Piazza in Siena.  This drink allows me a small vacation to a special place, taking me from my living room to a city where I came in touch with another part of my soul.

The bellini at Liberamente Osteria, Siena, Italy, 2008

It was the peach skin that did it for me.  Little flecks of pink and purple swimming languidly in the bubbly prosecco.  I’ve always loved peaches.  There is little better than a biting into a juicy peach, breaking through the skin as the flavor of the fruit bursts forward.  A beautiful mess!

This is a great use for over-riped peaches.  Cut out any bruised areas and slice the peaches into wedges.  And by all means remove the skin if the texture doesn’t appeal to you… but I think you will be missing out :)

Puree two peaches until smooth.  Taste and add sugar as needed, blending so that the mixture is combined thoroughly.  Your peaches may need a little help hitting the sweet-note, based on their ripeness.  I generally add one half to three quarters of a tsp of sugar.  Two peaches should yield approximately one cup of puree.  Fill the bottom of champagne flutes or wine glasses with the puree and top with prosecco.  Stir to combine and enjoy a small, but powerful, piece of Italy!


Comments 1

  1. Shari

    love this idea – especially in summer. have to say bellinis in italy as good as it gets, but fresh peach bellinis at The Pink Elephant on Gasparilla Island, are a pretty good stateside alternative. Shall try to replicate with this recipe!

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