Pamela Sheldon John's cookbooks
Pamela has published 18 cookbooks including Sicily, Risotto, and Pasta: Authentic Recipes from the Regions of Italy.
One of her recent cookbooks is Cucina Povera. A few of the recipes in the book feature delicious Tuscan bread. As there's no salt in Tuscan bread it tends to dry out more quickly than bread containing salt and so many Tuscan recipes feature this dry bread as a key ingredient: Panzanella, Ribollita and Pappa al Pomodoro.
Although Pamela has her own mother yeast she finds that Tuscan bread is so delicious she rarely bakes her own bread. Learn more about mother yeast and sourdough starters here.
Try my delicious recipe for Wholegrain Farro Nut Bread.
Pamela Sheldon John's food tours and culinary travel itineraries
Pamela is a licensed tour escort in Italy.
Pamela started her Italian Food Artisans culinary travel business back in 1992 and now the market is saturated with a whole host of travel itineraries. That not withstanding Pamela continues to have a solid business in large part thanks to word of mouth clients familiar with her travel itineraries. Pamela's focus is on local artisans and what’s traditional and seasonal.
Pamela Sheldon John's Tuscan accommodation
The Poggio Etrusco farmhouse dates back to the late 1600s and it’s now owned and operated by Pamela and her husband Johnny Johns. They have three apartments and an additional double room, each with a private kitchen.
The location is ideal and allows customers to enjoy the very best of Tuscan countryside but with easy access to some of Italy's best wine producing areas like Montepulciano and Montalcino where Brunello wine is produced. In addition Poggio Etrusco is close to historic Tuscan towns like Pienza, Siena and Florence, easily accessible by car.
Poggio Etrusco prepares breakfast for customers but Pamela also has a large kitchen garden and guests have full access to the garden to prepare their meals. Pamela offers a bit of guidance as to what to pick and when, and often she'll place out a basket full of the day's produce for the guests to choose what they would like to cook in their own apartment.
Pamela also runs cooking classes so customers can learn to make classic and traditional Tuscan dishes using the produce from the garden.
Pamela does a lot of canning and preserving with her garden produce and she says that will undoubtedly be the topic of her next cookbook: she’s already well on the way to completing this book.
No television, no microwave - instead Pamela has tried to preserve a traditional farm-style accommodation location. Of course Wi-Fi is available and many customers bring their computers but what Poggio Etrusco offers its customers is a classic and traditional Tuscan lifestyle stay.
Poggio Etrusco organic olive oil
Pamela Sheldon Johns (a certified olive oil sommelier) and her husband obtained organic certification back in 2005. They have 800 olive trees and the amount of oil produced each year can vary but this year and last year were two great years and they produced about 500 ½ L tins and 150 ¾ L bottles.
Of course about 20% of the olive oil is used at Poggio Etrusco and the rest of it is sold, mainly exported to the United States. Some of Pamela's olive oil shipments go directly to clients and otherwise Pamela sells through the East Coast company Olio2Go. Not all of the olive oil is exported to the United States - a small percentage is also exported to the United Kingdom and Germany, and sold locally.
Olive oil can have many different varietals and Pamela's property has five different olive oil varietals, all reasonably hearty varietals that survive well in a colder Tuscan climate: frantoio, moraioli, correggiolo, leccino and pendolino. Here's how olive trees get pollinated.
Over the years Pamela has faced some difficult challenges with their olive trees. In 1985 there was a freeze that wiped out almost all of their trees and then in 2014 many of the olives were wiped out by the Mediterranean olive fly that lays eggs in the olives and destroys the fruit. Pamela and her husband found a homemade organic solution to this problem which attracts and traps the flies before they can damage the fruit.
Johnny John’s olive oil labels and other design creations
The delightful olive oil bottle labels are designed by Pamela's husband Johnny, who is a painter. In addition to olive oil labels Johnny also designs aprons that are sold through their website, as well as other artistic creations.
Johnny has his own website and also sells through their Facebook shop, Tuscan Flavors.
A deeper dive into Tuscany
Check out this blog post and podcast episode about Tuscan Homestyle pig butchering.
Spannnochia is an exquisite 13th Century Farm estate in Tuscany that raises Cinta Senese pigs and other heritage breeds.
Did you know that there are numerous fly fishing locations in Tuscany? Learn all about Italian fly fishing here.
Pamela and her colleague Marjorie Shaw are working on a sustainable tourism project for sustainable travel itineraries geared towards a more eco-friendly, low carbon footprint travel future. More details to follow soon!
Find Pamela Sheldon Johns on social media
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