Tuscan Cuisine

Friday, May 25, 2012

One of the best ways to pin down and define the identity of any given region of the world is through its food and drink. Tuscany is no different, and Tuscany villas are far from the only thing giving the southern Italian region its distinctive “flavour”.

In fact, Tuscan cuisine plays as much of a part in defining the region’s personality as anything else, and tourists should not pass up on the opportunity to try some of the area’s distinctive food and drink.

Made almost exclusively with locally farmed ingredients and using traditional recipes and methods, Tuscan cuisine works off a principle of simplicity, while at the same time retaining all the flavour and taste of often far more complicated dishes. Probably the region’s most famous offspring is ‘pappa al pommodoro’, but tourists renting Tuscany villas or taking tours of the area should also make sure to taste bread soup, barley vegetable soup, 'panzanella' bread salad, tripe, and the traditional chestnut cake known as 'castagnaccio'.

If your focus is on individual towns, rather than Tuscany as a whole, fear not: there is still plenty for you to sample. Siena’s 'ricciarelli' pastries, its Panforte Margherita cake or its traditional pasta, called 'pici’, are all must-taste dishes, as are Florence’s steak and traditional entrees.  And of course, all these flavours can be properly complemented by a good Chianti or Brunello wine!

Those looking to bring a little of the traditional taste back to their Tuscany villas will also be pleased to know that many of the region’s stores and restaurants allow you to purchase these dishes as well as eat them, making a culinary tour of Tuscany an even more’ appetizing’ idea, which should not be passed up on!

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