Posts Tagged ‘Tuscan Food and Gastronomic Specialities’

Tuscan terracotta olive oil jars – orci

Tuscan terracotta oil jars - orcie

If you’re interested in terracotta, a visit to Impruneta, the home of terracotta in Tuscany, is well worth it. The artisans of Impruneta are producing more and more hand-painted terracotta in addition to their traditional raw clay ceramics. However, in addition to floor and roof tiles, the terracotta manufacturers of Impruneta and nearby Ferrone have

San Miniato in Tuscany, location of a great truffle fair during November

San Miniato in Tuscany, location of a great truffle fair during November

For anyone interested in truffles or, indeed, Tuscan gastronomy in general, San Miniato in Tuscany, location of a great truffle fair during November, is a name to conjure with. San Miniato is about 45 km from Florence (one and a quarter hours by car) and the time to visit is during October and November when

History of Tuscany and Tuscan Culture

History of Tuscany and Tuscan Culture

Usually I confine my posts to bite-sized morsels of practical Tuscany tourist information. However, today let’s try something cultural and historical. I’ll try to provide some pointers on one way to think about the huge topic of the history of Tuscany and Tuscan culture. One approach is to see the culture of Tuscany in terms

A Tuscan salumi selection as antipasto

Tuscan salumi antipasto

The word salumi is a collective term for dried and cured meats such as prosciutto and sausages of the salami family, among others. It’s very similar but not identical in meaning to the French expression charcuterie. Lardo, cured lard, is an exotic type of salumi. A Tuscan salumi selection as antipasto is typical fare in

Norcia, Umbria, home of pork sausages, lentils and truffles

Norcia Umbria - pork, lentils and truffles

The town of Norcia, in the highlands of Umbria, is the source of some of the best pork products in all of Italy – also, strangely enough, a source of excellent lentils and black truffles. Norcia is famous in part because Saint Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine monastic order, and his twin sister, Saint

Porcini mushrooms in Chianti, Italy

Porcini mushrooms in Chianti

Porcini mushrooms of Chianti are not to be missed. With the exception of morilles, funghi porcini are the most delicious of the mushrooms. Try to find or buy them fresh and cook them sliced in a bit of olive oil with nipitella (a kind of catamint or catnip that grows wild in Chianti). Serve over

Schiacciata con l’uva Tuscan grape bread

Schiacciata con l'uva

Schiacciata (“squashed”) is a flat bread about 2 cm thick that was originally cooked in the embers of the hearth. Variations of schiacciata are made throughout Italy. In Tuscany, it is often simply brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Here in Chianti, we enjoy schiacciata con l’uva, sometimes called focaccia. (In ancient Rome,

Porchetta – Tuscan roast whole pig

Porchetta Tuscan roast pork

To make porchetta in Chianti, you start with a big pig – some say it should be at least 120kg! This is not a suckling pig we’re cooking, it’s the real thing! The pig is carefully deboned and dressed with abundant rosemary, fennel and garlic, and filled with its own minced sweet meats, although the

Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the grilled steak of Tuscany

bistecca alla fiorentina

Before beginning your visit to Tuscany, it will be worthwhile to “bone up” on bistecca alla Fiorentina, the grilled steak of Tuscany – how to select the steak, how to cook it, how to eat it. Not every visitor to Tuscany has heard that steak is a very popular speciality here. The meat classically come

Dario Cecchini, butcher and showman at Panzano in Chianti

Dario Cecchini the butcher of Panzano

Anyone visiting Panzano in Chianti, a pretty town on the via Chiantigiana halfway between Florence and Sienna, should drop in at Dario Cecchini’s butcher’s shop near Piazza Bucciarelli. Here you will see not only excellent cuts of meat and prepared meats, but with a bit of luck, Dario Cecchini himself – probably the most extravert

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