Tuscan cuisine, appreciated the world over for its fine natural and flavourful ingredients, is a typical expression of the Mediterranean diet, considered among others, the most wholesome and tasty, Olive oil, pasta, fish and first choice meat. With this few basic ingredients our local chefs can create exceptional dishes. Among the produce of which Tuscany is of some importance is white truffles, a much appreciated variety. Other ingredients such as wild asparagus and herbage also contribute to the rediscover of simple flavourful dishes (pappa al pomodoro, ribollita, hearty vegetable soups), where olive oil is the star ingredient, strictly bought from the local olive press.
Simplicity is central to the Tuscan cuisine. Legumes, bread, cheese, vegetables, mushrooms and fresh fruit are used. A good example would be ribollita, a notable Tuscan soup whose name literally means “reboiled”. Like most Tuscan cuisine, the soup has peasant origins. It was originally made by reheating (i.e. reboiling) the leftover minestrone or vegetable soup from the previous day. There are many variations but the main ingredients always include leftover bread, cannellini beans and inexpensive vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, beans, silverbeet, cavolo nero (Tuscan kale), onion and olive oil. White truffles from San Miniato appear in October and November. High-quality beef, used for the traditional Florentine steak, come from the Chianina cattle breed of the Chiana Valley and the Maremmana from Maremma. Pork is also produced. The region is well-known also for its rich game, especially wild boars, hares, fallow deers, roe deers and pheasant that often are used to prepare pappardelle dishes. Regional desserts include panforte (prepared with honey, fruits and nuts), ricciarelli (biscuits made using an almond base with sugar, honey and egg white), and cavallucci (cookies made with almonds, candied fruits, coriander, flour, honey). Well-known regional wine’s list include Brunello di Montalcino, Carmignano, Chianti, Morellino di Scansano, Parrina, Sassicaia, Vernaccia di San Gimignano.