Tuscanic Tuscan Café & Deli @ Old Compton Street, SOHO

昨日のLina Storesもそうだけれど、ソーホーを歩いていると、レストラン、カフェ、食料品店、理髪店(ヘアサロンというより昔の散髪屋の風情)など、イタリア系の店を多く見かける。調べてみると、1890年代のRisorgimento(イタリア統一運動)の最中、数多くのイタリア人が政治的混乱を逃れ、ロンドンにやってきたという。クラーケンウェル地区に最大のコミュニティがあったけれど(過去ブログ)、ソーホーにも多く住み着いた。第一次世界大戦後、コミュニティは拡大、1930年代半ばまでに多くのイタリアン・レストランがオープンしたけれど、第二次世界大戦の頃は、ナチスドイツとの同盟関係のため、イタリア人には困難な時代だったそうだ(参照:SOHO memories)。時代は変わり、EUが域内市民に「right to free movement and residence(域内での移動・居住の自由)」を認めて以来、新たにイタリア人、特に職や教育の機会や、窮屈な家族関係や地元からの自由を求めてやってきた若者たちが、数多くロンドンに移り住んでいる。

このTuscanicは、古くからあるカフェやレストランと比べ、よりファッショナブルで洗練された、現代的なスタイルを持ち込む、若い世代の店の一つ。名前が示す通り、Tuscanicは、パニーニ、ピザ、スープ、ハムやサラミ類、チーズなどトスカーナの味が楽しめる。私たちはエスプレッソを飲みにいっただけなので、食べ物の味は分からないが、レビューを見ると「まあまあ〜美味しい」レベルのようだ(Time Out / トリップアドバイザー)。Cantucciが一つついてくるエスプレッソはなかなかだし、チョコレートと生クリームだけで作ったという贅沢なチョコレートケーキ(£5)は美味しい。奥の棚を埋めている、トスカーナ地方から輸入された美味しそうな食料品は、品質は良いかもしれないけれど、かなりいいお値段。食料品なら、向かいにあるお店・I.Camisaがお薦めです。

When walking around in SOHO, I see a lots of Italian restaurants, cafés, groceries and even an old-time barber, including yesterday’s Lina Stores and popular Bar Italia for Serie A fans. So I tried to find out why. According to “SOHO memories” website, there had been a major influx of Italian political refugees to London in the 1860s during Risorgimento (Italian unification). The largest Italian community was formed in the Clerkenwell area (see my past entry), but many also settled in Soho. The decade following the end of the WWI saw a rapid expansion of the Italian community and by the mid 1930s they opened many Italian restaurants, but following WWII period was a difficult time for them, due to the nation’s alliance with Nazi Germany. Now a new generation of Italians have been coming, especially young ones – some of them for job and educational opportunities and others escape from their choking tight-knitted families and communities, since a right to free movement and residence is given to all EU citizens.

This Tuscanic is one of the newcomers who have brought contemporary Italian affairs: sleeker, more stylish and upscale than their predecessors. As the name suggests, Tuscanic offers Tuscan delicacies such as panini, pizza, soups, charcuteries and cheeses, as well as imported food & wines. I went there only for coffee so I am not sure how their food is, but seems OK/Good, according to the reviews though I couldn’t find many (Time Out / tripadvisor). Espresso was good, and came with a piece of biscotti, and their chocolate cake which is made of only chocolate and cream was very good (£5). There was gorgeous looking Tuscan food for sale filled the back shelves, but these are quite expensive though probably in good quality. We would rather buy Italian grocery at I.Camisa (they have good stuffs!) across the street.

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