Tuscan offers a huge range of gastronomical delights
Tuscan offers a huge range of gastronomical delights

From medieval times to today, the Tuscan diet, just like the cuisine enjoyed and developed by the Etruscan civilisation before it, is strongly tied to the agriculture of the region. The vineyard and olives which are the lifeblood of the Tuscan people, the wonderful seasonal vegetables which is a myriad of colour from the rich dark green of the kale to the winter white of the cannelloni bean, to the milky brown of the chestnut flour. All of the ingredients are in exact harmony with the land that provides it fertile soil to produce them and is a joy to explore and try yourself.
The dishes we all enjoy today originate from the peasant diet, nothing was wasted, all the vegetable scraps were used and even the stale bread to create wonderful dishes such as the ‘ribollita’, ‘pappa al pomodoro’ and ‘panzanella’. Game meats such as pigeon, pheasant, wild boar, rabbit and hare are all used to create wonderful pastas and left overs eaten on crunchy bread toasted over the fire.
All meals are accompanied by unsalted bread a tradition dating back to sometime in the 16th C when there was a ‘salt tax’. The unsalted bread sets Tuscany apart from other italian regions and is enjoyed by the locals with saltier toppings, like the salami, prosciutto, ‘lardo’ di Colonatta and then of course the ‘scarpetta’ which literally means to scoop up the left over sauce from your plate.
Desserts range from simple ‘cantuccini’ almond biscuits dipped in Vin Santo wine to panna cotta with various sauces, ‘castagnaccio’ which is a chestnut flour cake with rosemary to apple cake and tiramisu even if not originally Tuscan is always to be found on the menu.
All areas of Tuscany have a gastronomical delight to be discovered and traditional dishes of a particular town can still be found, true to life as they always were. Enjoy!!!

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