Top Ten delicious Tuscan dishespa0l0
Top 10 foods and wines to try in Tuscany
Tuscan people worship their bread, their olive oil and the traditional bruschetta, which in Florence is known as fettunta. Order it to begin your meal and you’ll have a freshly toasted slice of Tuscan bread generously rubbed with garlic, lavishly drizzled with a green olive oil and sparingly sprinkled with salt.
It’s all about the bread! Another recipe to use up stale bread is ribolita. Everything begins with a bean and kale soup served with toasted bread. The second day the soup is cooked again in a pan with olive oil – hence the name ribollita, which means ‘boiled twice’. See below.
The Florentine T-bone steak needs no introduction. Its secret lies in choosing the right meat, the right cut and the right length of cooking time.
This would only taste better, if it was washed down with some Tuscan wine. Brunello di Montalcino, maybe.
Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino is an red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 120 km south of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, a diminutive of Bruno, a male given name which means brown, is the name that was given locally to what was believed to be an individual grape variety grown in Montalcino.
Maremma was historically a poor area, so the people there had to find clever ways to give flavour even to the most wilted vegetables. Acquacotta, which means cooked water, is a vegetable soup enriched with a poached egg. Add a grating of pecorino for extra taste.
Pappa al pomodoro
Pappa in Italian is baby food, something soft, comforting and easy to eat. Pappa al pomodoro is probably the quintessence of Tuscan comfort food. It’s a bread tomato soup, which differs from town to town, but has three main ingredients which are mandatory for a good result: stale bread, juicy tomatoes and good Tuscan olive oil.
Castagnaccio is a unique chestnut cake made just with chestnut flour and water, a poor sweet treat which comes from the mountains in Tuscany, where chestnut trees used to be the main resource. The sweetness comes from the flour itself and from sultanas and pine nuts. The cake is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with some rosemary. Tuscan people in autumn cannot pass a bakery without ordering a slice of castagnaccio.
Next to spinach and ricotta ravioli from Maremma, Tuscany has another typical recipe for fresh filled pasta: potato tortelli from Mugello, a mountain area near Florence. They are usually served with a hearty ragout or game meat sauce, as Mugello used to be Medici’s hunting area.
Chicken liver pâté
Every celebratory meal in Tuscany is opened with chicken liver pâté crostini, know also as crostini neri or black crostini. Chicken livers are cooked with vegetables, made soft and creamy with a knob of butter and enlivened with capers and anchovy paste. The pâté is then spread on toasted slices of bread, which sometimes are also soaked in hot broth.
Vino Santo (“holy wine”) is a style of Italian dessert wine. Traditional in Tuscany, this delicious wine is served with Tuscan biscotti, which is dipped in the wine.