The Central Italian region of Tuscany is the epitome of culinary richness and savory excellence. Here are some fabulous delicacies and drinks from Tuscany that you must try on your visit there.
Brunello Di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino reds are among the best that Tuscany, an abundant wine growing area, has to offer. This exceptional drink is produced using the Sangiovese grapes in the historic Etruscan-era hill town of Montalcino. You can venture on a winetasting tour around the 17th century cellars of Fattoria dei Barbi and can sip on this heavenly Tuscan beverage.
Budino Di Riso
Try to let go of your morning cornetto ritual or a cappuccino with caffè macchiato for a while so you can treat yourself with a Florentine delight – Budino di Riso – a tart-like pastry stuffed with vanilla, orange or lemon-flavored rice puddings. It is available across many bakeries in Florence.
Cantucci and Vin Santo
If you’re someone who likes to end a dinner with sweet finishing, ask around for cantucci with vin santo to spoil yourself with crunchy, double-baked, oval shaped cookies from a place called Prato, just a few miles from Florence. This Tuscan biscotto can be a bit hard for you to bite but that’s what the Vin Santo is there for. You can dip a cookie in that sweet wine for the perfect experience. Both of them are readily available at almost every restaurant or baking shop.
Undoubtedly one of the most elite Tuscan baked delights is the Castagnaccio. It is a gluten free chestnut flour dessert that you can feast yourself with at some specialty shops around Florence. This delicacy is mostly a seasonal feat and is usually baked around the fall when chestnuts are the most abundant. Made with flour, raisins and sugar and topped with pine nuts, the castagnaccio makes a dense consistent delight.
Cecina is a savory pancake-like bread mixture of olive oil, salt and chickpea flour seasoned to perfection with rosemary. It is also known as farinata and sold all by bakers all around Florence and Tuscany as a baked snack.
The Coccoli are essentially donut-resembling balls of dough that are fried and served as an apertivio or antipasto dish across almost every restaurant in Tuscany. They are presented with a serving of prosciutto crudo and stracchino cheese which is stuffed inside the coccoli.
Truffles, or locally called tartufo in Italy, might be an extremely rare mushroom herb across the globe and often very expensive, in Tuscany, though, they multiply wildly across the whole region. It is a pageant musky ingredient with a very strong aroma and is popularly used as a topping peppered over pasta, pizza, lasagna and added to other sauces to enrich the flavor. They can’t be farmed and are hunted down and gathered using pigs and dogs in forests and algae environs from October to January. For meals that are seasoned with truffles, it is important to try them out during this time as they aren’t available during the rest of the year.