Italian food is very popular, both internationally and at the source. Here are my picks for Top Tuscan Foods.
Although there are many specialties that you can find throughout Italy, there are also some unique Tuscan treats that you should definitely sample on your travels through the region.
Tuscan cuisine traditionally focused on simple, filling meals made from local ingredients such as olive oil and truffles. Boars, hares, and other forms of wild game have often made their way into the local diet as well.
Since Tuscany was historically a poorer section of the country, many of the local recipes were created to use up every available scrap of food. As a result, traditional dishes regularly including ingredients like stale bread crumbs and offal.
Soups are likewise very popular in Tuscany because they historically functioned as a catch-all for whatever materials the cook in question had on hand. However, the aforementioned items certainly aren’t the only local delicacies that you should try!
These extremely thick t-bones, weighing three to four pounds each, are usually made from the region’s famous Chianina cows. They are normally grilled on all sides and served medium well. Of course, if you don’t think that you can tackle this local delicacy on your own, you can always call in back up from a friend (or two).
Both the white and black varieties of truffles can be found in Tuscany. These expensive local delicacies are often showcased in homemade pasta (tagliatelle al Tartufo) or egg dishes. However, the tasty fungi can be incorporated into other dishes.
Truffles are usually harvested in the fall months with the help of dogs or pigs that are trained to sniff them out. Travelers might even be able to join a truffle hunting expedition if you happen to be visiting during the right time of year!
This salad is perfect for the summer months. It’s typically made with a mixture of leftover bread, vinegar, olive oil, salt, tomatoes, basil, and onions. Some versions may also include cucumbers, tuna, and/or capers as part of the recipe.
If you enjoy soup, there are plenty of options to be found here. Pappa al pomodoro is basically a tomato soup that has been thickened with leftover bread crumbs. Additional ingredients might include garlic, olive oil, and/or basil.
Meanwhile, acquacotta is a boiled vegetable soup from Maremma that’s enlivened up with a poached egg and a generous amount of cheese.
Another popular soup in the region. The mixture of cabbage, white beans, bread crumbs, onions, carrots, and/or kale makes for a delicious meal in colder weather. But if fish stew is what you really fancy, then you’re in luck! Cacciucco is a Tuscan specialty that can be found in some of the seaside towns.
Castagnaccio is a traditional Tuscan cake that is primarily made with chestnut flour and water. It may contain other ingredients like pine nuts, olive oil, rosemary, and/or sultanas. It’s very popular with locals during the autumn months.
Adventurous eaters should definitely check out the lampredotto (cow stomach) sandwiches that are found throughout Tuscany.
These are often served up with a green parsley sauce and the juices they are cooked in. Although they might not sound appetizing to the uninitiated, they are a popular Tuscan treat!
Less adventurous eaters may instead want to ease into things by snacking on the chicken liver pate that is often served on crostinis (little toasts) as an appetizer throughout the region.
Of course, Tuscany is also known for its delicious local wines, which make the perfect accompaniment to any meal or snack you’re having during your stay.
Have you ever tried any of these foods? What was your favorite? What wines from Tuscany do you love most?