It is a simple, rustic looking bread with a crisp crust and a
very airy crumb. The famous Tuscan bread is produced mostly in Altopascio,
located in the province of
. It can be kept for a long time if baked in a wood
fired oven and its main characteristic, which makes it unique, is that of being
completely saltless. It offers a very pleasant contrast when eaten with tasty
and spicy foods.
Extra Vergine Olive Oil
, olive oil is
an agricultural product of quality. It has been renowned for centuries. It is
obtained by following ancient methods, with the traditional cultivation of the
plants, and it is still produced in artisanal oil mills. Given the continuous
attention of the farmers, the olive oil’s quality has remained high. In some
places, its production, selective and very contained, makes it a precious A.O.C*
food (* food of controlled origin). It has the characteristic of bringing out
fragrances and flavours of dishes. pietanze.
Tuscan Raw Ham (Prosciutto Crudo)
It is a rustic looking ham with millennium-old origins. Its taste is very
pleasant, definite and fragrant but not excessively salty. Its rich taste comes
from its salting and its maturation, which secrets have been passed on for
generations. A fragrant and typical aroma derives from the maturation process
which lasts at least a year. The Tuscan Raw Ham, is used a lot in
and in snacks given its taste and fragrance which allow
to savour it entirely, even its aromatic fat.
Tuscan Ewe’s Cheese (Pecorino)
The Tuscan Ewe’s Cheese (Pecorino) is made from full-fat ovine milk with the
addition of ferments and calf rennet. It can be eaten as a grated cheese
depending on its level of maturity. Whether fresh or mature, it goes well with
honey, jams, fresh fruits and vegetables of the season. If fresh, it goes well
with white wines; if mature, it goes well with red wines.
Tuscan Sausage (Salame)
It is characterised by its flavoursome and very aromatic taste and for its
aspect – with its grossly triturated fat. There is also a small version of it,
Lard of Colonnata (Lardo di Colonnata)
The lard (lardo) is the delicatessen that has made
famous in the world: once, it was the “sandwich” of the
quarrymen, who cut it into thin slices to then put it between two slices of
rustic bread along with pieces of tomatoes; this “sandwich” was prepared early
in the morning and was used together with the flask of wine to give the
quarrymen the necessary calories to face the steep slopes and the efforts to be
. The lard from Colonnata owes its exceptional
goodness to its maturation, which takes place in a typical basin carved in a
block (“conca di
In Tuscany, chesnuts are harvested a bit everywhere, in
Lunigiana, in Garfagnana
and in the Apuan Alps
they aren’t used to make the chestnut flour, they are boiled to obtain the
"ballocciori", flavoured with laurel and fennel leaves. They are also prepared
in and grilled in the typical “riddled” pan to obtain the "mondine" or
"caldarroste". They are particularly great if eaten just after they’ve been
cooked and soaked in red wine.
The Bean of Bigliolo (Il Fagiolo di Bigliolo)
It is tender, with a subtle skin, and extremely digestible and delicate. It is a
delight for gourmets, the pride of a village located in the heart of
, land of ancient traditions and cultural crossroad.
The characteristics that make it unique, on top of its flat shape, its external
ruby red colour and internal white with red stripes colour, are: its
consistency, tender, fleshy and full of water, but above all its pronounced
aroma and the sweetness of its taste, which is pleasant even for the most
The panigacci, ancient "azyme bread", is a typical dish from
which has made
famous in the whole world. They are simply made by
and flour. They are cooked in the fire-place, in terracotta plates, made by
local craftsmen, that are put on top of each other.
The testarolo is a poor dough, made with natural ingredients (water, salt and
wheat flour). In the past, it was cooked under the ashes. It has healthily fed,
in a simple and non artificial way, generations of people from Lunigiana. They
are often still prepared using the old traditional systems. They are seasoned
with pesto or olive oil and grated pecorino (ewe’s cheese).
The "Sgabei” come from the province of
. They consist of strips of fried dough. They are
served with delicatessen of all types. They make a great antipasto. They are
also great with marmalades. They taste exceptionally good with stracchino
cheese or lard from colonnata.
The cultivation of Spelt Wheat in Garfagnana dates back from
7000 B.C. and it was used at the time by people to make polenta or focaccia
breads. It differentiates itself from the other qualities of Spelt Wheat by the
dimensions of its grain, which is bigger, and by its waterproofness in cooking.
It has a special, unique and flavoursome taste.
"La minestra di farro"
, typical dish in Garfagnana, is not only exquisite
but also particularly healthy.
Boletus Mushrooms (Funghi Porcini)
The Boletus Mushrooms (Funghi porcini) from Lunigiana have an intense aroma and
a delicate taste. They have been the pride of the mountains of Lunigiana for
centuries. Today, the harvest, preparation and conservation of the mushrooms is
guarantied by specialised cooperatives.
Honey of Lunigiana
It is recognised as the best quality honey of Italy, the first to have obtained
the recognition of the D.O.P.(Name of Protected Origin) and it is enough to
taste it to believe it. The secret of such quality relies in an unpolluted
environment, rich in flora, with a large presence of chestnut trees and acacias.
All this allows the production of delicate millefiori honey, chestnut honey and
very sweet acacia honey.
Brigidini of Lamporecchio
They are a famous Tuscan biscuit . They came from a mistake made in the kitchen
and have made the fortune of Lamporecchio (Pistoia). The brigidini di
Lamporecchio are small and tasty golden waffles made from eggs, sugar, anise and
flour. They can be found in fairs and country fairs where they are cooked in
public in the waffle irons.
Cantuccini of Prato
The classic cantuccini of prato, are a typical biscuit to serve after a good
meal or even for other occasions to go with a glass of good Vinsanto. The recipe
is guaranteed for a Tuscan biscuit famous in the whole of Italy.
Schiacciata alla Fiorentina
, tradition and taste unite together in this sweet
and exquisite cake, adapted for all occasions, from breakfast to tea break, to
an informal after dinner reunion with friends. It is an extremely light and
healthy cake: it is made with only one egg, no butter and only quality olive
Chestnut Flour (Farina di neccio) of Garfagnana
In Garfagnana, chestnut flour or as it is called “neccio” flour, has substituted
and been integrated to wheat flour in the preparation of bread, pastries and
polenta for centuries. Today, it is appreciated for its aroma and its
delicateness to the palate. The famous “castagnaccio” is obtained by kneading it
with water, nuts, pieces of orange skin and oil and by then cooking it in the
oven. There are also other special breads and rustic cakes that are still made
today with the “neccio” flour.
It is the most famous cake from Lucca. It is made from white flour, sugar, anise
seeds and beer yeast. It can be made in different ways, but the original recipe
is owned by the Taddeuci family who jealously pass it on from father to son. The
Buccellato can also be eaten “stale” or fried, after having been soaked with
egg, or sliced and soaked in vin santo, or…
Sweet Rice Cake (Torta di riso dolce)
It is made in Massa
. It is a cake made of rice, milk and eggs; it can be flavoured with
anise or alkermes liquors. Once done, the cake has a round or rectangular shape,
depending on the type of baking pan used. It is made of two layers: one of rice,
and the other of flan type cream. The smell is delicate and pleasant. When
cooked, it has a nice golden-brown colour.
The Panforte, is a cake made from flour, almonds, candied fruit, and spices. It
is the gastronomic symbol of Siena. It is the most famous Italian spice bread
and has very ancient origins dating back to the time of the honey breads
prepared in the Middle Ages.