Traditional Tuscan food is a harmonizing blend of two distinct but inseparable principles – simplicity and quality. Italian cuisine is celebrated all across the world but when you zoom down to the regional Italian delicacies, it starts getting extremely interesting. Tuscan eateries are based on peasant traditions during tough medieval times for working class communities but even now, the locals try to stay true to their roots and take the time out to find the top-notch meat and produce from their region and turn it into a culinary masterclass that you would definitely not want to miss out on.
Bistecca Alla Fiorentina
Bistecca or the Florentine steak is a t-bone cut-out that is served very rare, or as they locally call it – “al sangue.” True to Tuscan simplistic tradition, it is served with a bit of olive oil, homemade dressing and salt to bring the best out of the steak. For the best Fiorentina in Florence: https://www.osteriadellagnolo.it/en/typical-dishes-menu/
As with other Europeans, the Tuscans simply love their breads, the in-born Italian love for olive oil and the customary bruschetta which is known as the fettunta in the Florence region. It is a very popular entrée and you can order it as a started before a meal. A typical serving of the Tuscan bread includes freshly toasted slices of the fettunta generously spread with garlic, lavishly peppered with a green olive oil and some salt.
As we already mentioned the European bread obsession, in Tuscany’s country side, it is essentially a mortal sin to throw the leftover bread away. Tuscan farmers use the stale bread leftovers to make a summer bread salad with vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and onion, seasoned with olives and vinegar. Some of the Panzanella versions also include tuna and capers.
Castagnaccio is a traditional Tuscan dessert delicacy produced with chestnut flour, raisins and pine nuts along side a bit of seasoning from salt, rosemary and olive oil. These ingredients are then hydrated with water and baked to make a cake that is thin but richly dense. It can be eaten warm or cold but is eaten best when paired with a sweet Tuscan red wine.
The unique thing about the Schiacciata is that it is only available during the last few days of summer and early fall, during the grape harvest. Sweet canaiolo grapes are used to ferment a tasty and aromatic flatbread into a sweet Tuscan delight.
During the medieval times, the poor locals experimented clever ways to flavor even the most bland tasting, wilted vegetables. It simply translates to cooked water but is actually a vegetable soup enhanced with a poached egg and served with a grating of pecorino for an enriched experience.
Chicken liver pâté
Chicken liver pâté crostini is a very popular starter for almost every celebratory meal in the Tuscan region. It is also locally known as crostini neri or black crostini. As the name suggests, chicken livers are cooked with vegetables and an enriching paste of capers and anchovy, before a knob of butter is added to make it soft and creamy. The pâté is then spread on toasted bread slices and served hot.