Tuscan cuisine

Tuscan cuisine

Tuscan cuisine

The Tuscan cuisine consists mainly of traditional dishes and sweets that have kept their preparation unchanged for many years.

Bread without salt is a custom that few other regions have adopted (like Umbria). It seems that the custom dates back to the twelfth century when, at the height of the rivalry between Pisa and Florence, the Pisans put in practice high prices to the precious sodium chloride. There is also a hypothesis that says that the same lords of Florence were to impose particularly high taxes on the use of salt.

Tuscan cuisine

In Tuscany, the sacredness of bread, or the importance of not throwing it away but of using it even when it is stale, is evidenced by a long series of ancient recipes that are still widespread: Panzanella, Panata, Ribollita, Acquacotta, the Pappa al Pomodoro, the Fettunta, the vegetable soup, the Farinata, the Cabbage soup or the Pan co ‘santi.

Another characteristic of Tuscan cooking is the use of white meats and game. The products of the farm hive, where free-range chickens, turkeys, geese, guinea fowl and pigeons graze together with rabbits and game like hare and wild boar, pheasant and porcupine have always been the menu of big parties during the Middle Ages . The pork is also very used, just think of the famous Tuscan salami, finocchiona, ham preserved in salt, lardo di Colonnata sausages and special products such as the buristo also the result of the ingenuity of the poor people.

Tuscan cuisine

Among the cheeses, the tradition focuses on Tuscan Pecorino, as a product to be conserved: the most famous ones are Pienza and Maremma; while we find Ricotta and Raveggiolo among soft cheeses.

Tuscan cuisine

Finally, great space for desserts, where the Panforte, the Ricciarelli, the Cavallucci, the soup of the Duke, the cake of Cecco, the Migliacci, the Cantuccini of Prato.

Tuscan cuisine

Tuscan cuisine during the time

Tuscan cuisine

The Tuscan cuisine is characterized by the evident lack of homogeneity and by the radical divergence of recipes and culinary traditions, especially with respect to the territory of belonging and family tradition, so that some families paradoxically know more non-Tuscan dishes, which dishes of different provinces: in the center -sud of Tuscany, for example, few know the “Farinata di cavolo nero” typical of the north-east and of the coast, where it is called “Bordatino”; at the same time, although many Florentines traditionally go on holiday in the areas of Viareggio and the island of Elba, they often ignore the existence of dishes such as Cacciucco at Viareggina or Gurguglione

Tuscan cuisine

Tuscan cuisine presents a radical dichotomy between traditional folk dishes and dishes of courtly creation: while the former have remained, though varying over time, the latter, those of the courtly tradition, have mostly disappeared or find very weak space in the current Toscany cuisine ; between these two traditions, only in the last centuries has the cuisine of the middle class found space, which is distinguished by the use of poultry meat or game.

Direct consequences of this are the undisputed “Tuscanity” attributed to poor dishes (often consisting of only vegetables) from Tuscany (such as Ribollita) or even central Italy (such as Panzanella), as well as the systematic use of wet old bread as a surrogate for meat; the disappearance of noble dishes such as Cibreo or Ginestrata (a sort of egg yolk soup mixed with sugar, whipped egg whites, dried Vin Santo, cinnamon, nutmeg and chicken broth, considered tonic, aphrodisiac and constituent) and the spreading out of the local area of origin of dishes such as Paté di Fegatini (an invention by Caterina de Medici);

Tuscan cuisine

finally, the increasingly important employment in rural or rural areas of white meat, typical of a well-to-do middle class, without a specific baggage of recipes, present in other regions (Ligurian rabbit, Abbacchio, Pajata …) opposed to the systematic and isolated employment meat in the city areas, where the middle class had long been developed (examples are the Florentine tripe or Lampredotto sold almost exclusively in Florence street)

 

Tuscan cuisine

Tuscan cuisine on the Tuscany provinces

As already mentioned, the Tuscan cuisine differs considerably from the coast to the inland; in fact, dishes such as Caldaro or Cacciucco are only sporadically cooked in the inland; while the game is used in the rural areas of the province of Siena, the upper Val d’Arno , nell’Aretino, and secondly in Garfagnana and Lunigiana; the exceptional growth of the wild boar population has allowed all of its preparations to be used almost everywhere.

Tuscan cuisine

Freshwater fish are in the same paradoxical situation as poultry: present in the last centuries in the tables of the poorest and least developed areas, they do not have their own culinary tradition: the Valdelsa has, for example, an in-depth fishing tradition of river, but not an equally thorough cuisine, and the area of Lake Chiusi is famous for Brustico

Tuscan cuisine

Consumed by the poorest of the population, especially Jews, they owe to them the almost omnipresent method of cooking “alla mosaica” (stewed in tomato sauce with garlic, today we tend to call them in the style of Livornese or Pizzaiola with the addition of capers and oregano, not to confuse them with another Hebrew recipe, which includes pine nuts and raisins

an Aretine variant is made up of the Giovese eels (ie dipped in a tomato sauce over a sauté of aromatic herbs, a typical recipe by Giovi)

Tuscan cuisine

Meat in Tuscan cuisine

Pork

The families of the middle and lower classes, even if they live in the city, towards the end of November and early December went to farmers, acquaintances or relatives to cross the pig according to tradition. The pig, a gelding from 180 to 220 kilos, is slaughtered to have a supply of food for the whole winter and part of the spring. This is because in Tuscany, as in many other parts of the country, the meats selected and treated with salt, pepper and other spices are kept hanging on a hook in fresh and dry environments.

Tuscan cuisine

In this way they are seasoned:

Tuscan ham

Tuscan salami

Salciccia from Serbian

Pancetta, the pancetta spread is also called Alano and Rigatino

Capocollo

Finocchiona

Tuscan cuisine

As a costume we try to use the maximum without throwing away anything of the pig, for example, the guts were turned over and cleaned to put sausages, today they are used for sausages films for food as we commonly find on the market

Gastronomic excellence is considered the meat obtained from Cinta Senese pigs. It is a pig breed bred in the wild and semi-wild on most of the territory of the province of Siena, in the southern part of the province of Florence and in the northern part of the province of Grosseto. The breed is recognizable by the characteristic band around the neck that distinguishes the animals, differentiating themselves clearly from the remaining color

Tuscan cuisine

Tuscan cuisine

The beef

Chianina and Maremmana cows

The Chianina cow and the Maremmana cow are types of beef obtained from the respective animals that are bred in the wild or semi-wild, respectively in the Val di Chiana, Valtiberina, Casentino and in the Maremma.

Tuscan cuisine

Both are considered of excellent quality, although with different characteristics due to the different territories in which they graze, they lend themselves well to the Florentine steak, where however is perceived the greater natural flavor of Maremma meat compared to Chianina: for this reason, while Chianina is favorite for the classic steak, the Maremmana is mostly used in the preparation of stews and braised.

Tuscan cuisine

Tripe and Lampredotto

A recipe, Florentine tripe, sees the use of entrails of adult bovine in the preparation of one of the most famous second courses typical of Florence. Tripe is also used in the preparation of other recipes that differ locally.

Equally known is the Lampredotto specialty.

Tuscan cuisine

The game

The game is very popular in Tuscan cuisine: almost always present in taverns and traditional restaurants of the inland, it is omnipresent in the Arezzo area and in eastern Grosseto because of the high presence of wild boar. In familiar contexts it is reserved for important occasions, usually procured by relatives hunters; and is used in the preparation of first courses (pappardelle with wild boar, or mixed game ragout)

Tuscan cuisine

Or main dishes (wild boar and stewed hare, in the oven or in the pan) and unique dishes (stew, usually “alla cacciatora”: stewed with tomato and chilli). Typical restaurant dishes are steaks of wild boar, and wild boar in sweet (with dark chocolate) in addition to the related meats; pheasant (which is now more bred than hunted) usually roasted; the various ragouts of hare, fallow deer, and roe deer. The pigeon or the dove are more and more rarely consumed, and so is the porcupine.

Tuscan cuisine

Tuscan cuisine

Wines of Tuscany

 

Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (DOCG)

Tuscan cuisine

Brunello di Montalcino (Red in the normal and Riserva types) produced in the province of Siena

Carmignano (Red in the normal and Riserva types) produced in the province of Prato and Florence.

Chianti (Red in the normal types and reserve produced in the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena, with the possible indication of the sub-zones

Montecucco Sangiovese produced in the province of Grosseto

Morellino di Scansano (Red in the normal and reserve types) produced in the province of Grosseto from the 2007 harvest

Vernaccia di San Gimignano (White in the normal and Riserva types) produced in the province of Siena

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Red in the normal and Riserva types) produced in the province of Siena

Verduzzo (typical Tuscan, high quality)

Tuscan cuisine

Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC)

 

Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario produced in the province of Grosseto

Bianco della Valdinievole produced in the province of Pistoia

Bianco dell’Empolese produced in the provinces of Florence and Pistoia

Barco Reale di Carmignano or Barco Reale produced in the provinces of Florence and Prato

White Pisano di San Torpè produced in the province of Pisa

White Virgin of Valdichiana or Valdichiana produced in the provinces of Arezzo and Siena

Bianco di Pitigliano produced in the province of Grosseto

Bolgheri produced in the province of Livorno

Candia dei Colli Apuani produced in the province of Massa-Carrara

Capalbio produced in the province of Grosseto

Colli dell’Etruria Centrale produced in the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena

Colline Lucchesi produced in the province of Lucca

Cortona produced in the province of Arezzo

Elba produced in the province of Livorno

Montecarlo produced in the province of Lucca

Monteregio di Massa Marittima produced in the province of Grosseto

Montescudaio produced in the provinces of Livorno and Pisa

Morellino di Scansano (Red in the normal and Riserva types) produced in the province of Grosseto up to the 2006 harvest

Moscadello di Montalcino produced in the province of Siena

Orcia produced in the province of Siena

Parrina produced in the province of Grosseto

Pomino produced in the province of Florence

Rosso di Montalcino produced in the province of Siena

Rosso di Montepulciano produced in the province of Siena

San Gimignano (Red in the normal types, Riserva and Novello) produced in the province of Siena

Sant’Antimo produced in the province of Siena

Sovana produced in the province of Grosseto

Terratico Bibbona produced in the northern part of the province of Livorno

Val d’Arbia produced in the province of Siena

Val di Cornia produced in the provinces of Livorno and Pisa

Valdichiana produced in the province of Siena

Vin Santo del Chianti produced in the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena

Tuscan cuisine

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