Tuscany is revered for its architecture but one other thing for which it gets its fame is the cuisine. Just like this rural laid-back region which lives in the past, the food here also represents the ethics of a time gone by- quality and simplicity which arose from the peasant traditions prompted along by hardships. You can enjoy this food in your own Tuscan coast villas which you can rent for the duration of your stay. So, if you have unpacked then the first thing one search out is the food so let us go on a journey to discover food which is authentic Tuscan.
Trippa & Lampredotto
This dish is a great example of the simplicity along with the quality tradition of Tuscan cuisine. As said, a lot of the Tuscan recipe came from times when it was a difficult putting meal on the table so and a Florentine steak was a distant dream. During these times, peasants learned to utilize every part of their livestock. Trippa (or Tripe) is actually the edible lining of a cow’s stomach. As for Lampredotto, it is a cow’s fourth stomach. Seems odd? It must to visitors but let us tell you that Lampredotto, in particular, is a Florentine street food specialty and you should definitely have it once if you are here.
This traditional Tuscan dessert is a mixture of Chestnut flour, raisins, salt, olive oil, rosemary along with pine nuts. All of it is mixed with water and baked to make a thin, dense cake. Sounds mouthwatering? You can have it warm or cold but as a pro tip, you should definitely pair it up with a sweet Tuscan dessert wine. So if you are looking for a dessert after your main course, we encourage you to give this dish a try.
Bistecca Alla Fiorentina
Do you love your T-bone steak? Then you would definitely like to taste the Tuscan twist on this item. Here it is called the Florentine Steak which is served very rare, or “al sangue.” Staying true to the word of simplicity this item is basically prepared with the help of just a bit of olive oil and salt to bring out the taste while just to let the natural seeped in flavours shine.
Another example of the peasant culture that inspired so many dishes, “Ribollita” literally means “reboiled”. Why? It was traditionally made by reboiling leftover minestrone. If you are looking for something easy to gulp down but which will also be fulfilling then this is the one to go for as it is a filling soup made with seasonal veggies, black cabbage, stale bread, and beans, you will probably be able to enjoy it if you arrive during the winters.
Pappa al Pomodoro
Just like the above, this is also a soup which is thick bread-based. It is prepared with seasonal veggies like tomato and basil. Just like Ribollita above, it is also best to be enjoyed during the winters and as a comfort food. But with that being said, it is also enjoyed appetizers and buffets as it can also alternatively be served room temperature or chilled up. So basically, enjoy this whenever you need a food you can binge on.
This is a seasonal dish and is available for a few weeks from mid-September to early October which is the time for the grape harvest. Here’s how it’s made: Sweet Canaiolo grapes are used to make Schiacciata, which is a tasty and savoury flatbread, into a sweet doughy dish. So if you happen to visit during this short window frame then make sure to give this dish a taste.
You should probably know that Tuscan bread goes stale within a few days if not eaten. So to prevent this, people came up with the idea to use it as a salad. Here’s how it’s done- The bread is soaked in water and vinegar, then it is squeezed dry and mixed with fresh chopped basil, onion, tomato and cucumber. As you have probably guessed by now, it is actually great for summertime snacks as it doesn’t need any form of cooking, thus relieving you of working in the stifling heat while also being cool enough to be refreshing and good for your health.
Crostini di Fegato
This is actually a dish that consists of slices of warm bread with a spread of chicken liver pate. Now this pate actually consists of capers, anchovies, butter, onion, and broth. The best way to enjoy it is with a crostini which can be used as a snack or appetizer.
Although this list is about simplicity, missing out truffles will be a disaster. This is certainly a specialty in Tuscany but they are also much more available than in other parts of the world. It should be noted that truffles cannot be cultivated. So the only way to find them is to hunt for them in the woods using a sniffing animal like a dog or a pig. The best part about truffles is their durability, so you can use them year round but keep in mind that October and November provide the perfect truffle-friendly climate, which means that it makes it an autumn ingredient which goes perfectly with fresh handmade Pappardelle. So now that you know the timeframe, just hope in during the last three weekends in November so as to not miss the White Truffle Festival in San Miniato and to enjoy truffles fresh.
Italy as a country that serves authentic food throughout and one must learn about the food culture of the country in advance. If you are visiting Florence for example then you must have a guide to eat in Florence. Enjoy the food bonanza available in Tuscany since the food variety in here is seldom found in other similar parts of the country. While there is admittedly a shared tradition but there’s an aura of authenticity to it which has been born out of hardships and should be admired for it.