Montepulciano is my favorite town of the top wine-making region of Tuscany. And there we filmed the venerable coppersmith, Cesare, hard at work. He showed us the pan he first made as a 12-year-old boy in 1948. He stoked his fire and pounded away, before finishing his top-end copper pans with a lining of tin. With the help of my guide Roberto Bechi, Cesare explained how copper transmits heat but, to be safe for cooking, you need to line it with tin. He then demonstrated how you can determine if the tin is pure by how it crinkles and when it crinkles properly...you can suck on it (or cook with it) safely.
This is Day 16 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I'm reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.