The Ultimate Culinary Experience In Tuscany

Friday, March 1, 2013

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The Ultimate Culinary Experience In Tuscany

No trip to the beautiful Italian region of Tuscany is complete without sampling the various traditional foods the country has to offer. Always a huge part of most of our holidays, over indulging and eating out is a must, and let’s not forget the wine! Here is a look at the different experiences to be had while holidaying in Tuscany-

Food Markets

There are lots of food markets and stalls in nearly every town and village. You can buy a wide range of products which are all locally grown and made, such as olive oil, handmade pasta, locally reared meat and freshly caught fish. Here is a list of some of the best weekly markets-

·         Arezzo-  Every Saturday

·         Cortona- Every Saturday

·         Lucca- Every Wednesday and Saturday

·         Voltera- Saturday

·         San Galzano- Daily market

Florence has several daily markets to that should not be missed!

Food Festivals

Unlike any festival we have here in the UK, the white truffle festival is held in San Miniato every November for three consecutive weekends. The festival boasts hundreds of food stalls all smelling of the rich natural truffle. All the stalls sell food that incorporates the truffle into their dish. You can also pick up gifts and things to take home such as white truffle oil.

Held in May is the snail festival! This unusual festival is hosted in Camucia and celebrates the eating of the snail. You can find the ingredient on pizzas, pastas or rustic in the shell.

A great summer’s day in Tuscany can be spent at the wine festival in August held in Panzano’s main square. A lovely idea, you buy a tasting glass for ten Euros and then proceed round the stalls tasting the wines on offer. All the products are available to buy, so if you find a wine you particularly like you can take a few glasses home.

What To Try

While we are abroad why not fully embrace the experience and eat traditional local food. Perhaps you would not usually eat some of these dishes, but being on holiday is all about trying new things and having different experiences. Try these dishes while visiting Tuscany-

·         Chicken Liver Crostini- A traditional starter in Tuscany, this is a popular choice for locals on Christmas day, but can be found in lots of restaurants throughout the year. Crostini is a traditional bread.

·         Panzanella- This is a summer salad recipe influenced by the colours of the Italian flag. This is an age old traditional dish. It is first recorded in a poem in the 1500’s by famous artist Bronzino. Stale bread, tomatoes, onions and cucumber make up the basis of this salad.

·         Cacciucco- This fish stew is fairly famous in Tuscany and can be found in many restaurants. It’s best to try this dish on the coast as you know the sea food will be very fresh. It’s usually served with crusty bread to dip in and is really moreish!

If you decide you don’t want to eat out every night, make sure you visit the Tuscan markets to pick up rustic and traditional ingredients. Prepare them at home; there are lots of traditional villas in Tuscany to choose from to ensure you get a truly authentic experience. Serve any meals you make yourself with good Tuscan wine and bread.

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