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GASTRONOMY

Connoisseur’s Guide to Gastronomy in Tuscany

Tuscany dish
Written by Aksel Ritenis
Tuscany dishTuscany is a region of excellence in the area of food and wine. Its lands produce highly appreciated wines, such as the Chianti Classico and the Brunello di Montalcino, that are known worldwide. The region produces many lesser-known wines such as the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Morellino di Scansano and Rosso di Montepulciano. Just as important is the region’s production of Tuscan olive oil and local cheeses (Pecorino di Pienza) and cold cuts (such as salumi di cinta senese). Tuscan cuisine distinguishes itself for its tasty dishes made with genuine, natural ingredients which make even the simplest dishes true delicacies to savor and enjoy (bistecca Fiorentina, cinghiale, pappa al pomodoro, ribollita).

Tuscan cuisine is appreciated throughout the world for its fine natural and flavourful ingredients, it’s a typical expression of the Mediterranean diet, considered among others, the most wholesome and tasty, with olive oil, pasta, fish and first choice meat. With these few basic ingredients the Tuscan local chefs can create exceptional dishes.

Among the produce of which Tuscany is of some importance are white truffles, a much appreciated variety. Other ingredients such as wild asparagus and herbage also contribute to the rediscovery of simple flavourful dishes (pappa al pancotto, ribollita, hearty vegetable soups), where olive oil is the star ingredient, bought from the local olive press.

That easygoing Italian way of life that visitors find so alluring and desirable, la dolce vita, is indisputably linked to the Italians’ instinctive knowledge of how to drink and eat well.

In today’s society, many ancient culinary traditions and characteristics of Italy’s distinct regional cuisines are still commonplace, even more so here than other parts of Europe.

Tuscany dish 2Traditional family recipes passed down through generations are worth their weight in gold. The dinner table is the scene of many conversations, debates and decisions; favourite foods evoke happy memories, good health and comfort.

Everyone who has ever been to Italy has fallen in love with its history, landscapes, art, architecture, and, of course, its food! Even those who have never been to Italy already know Italian food in some shape, taste and form – who has never eaten pizza or spaghetti pasta?

Actual visitors to Italy, however, will have discovered that the Italian food they know from back home does not taste, and sometimes even look, the same in Italy.
First, each region has its own culinary specialities and own versions of a common Italian dish. Something as commonplace as a pizza is made differently in Naples, Rome, Florence and Milan!

And second, once you’ve tasted some of the regional dishes in Italy, you’ll want to discover what makes them particularly good, or different, from what you’ve tasted before so that you can recreate that dish once you’re back home.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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