What did we eat in Tuscany, you wonder? Well, I did some reading before our little weekend getaway- a book that would probably only be interesting to a true food-obsessed person (like myself) with significant time on their hands: A Thousand Days in Tuscany, written by a chef turned food and wine critic turned European traveler who moves to the farmhills of Tuscany to experience true Italian cuisine and culture. Granted it varies depending on region, but thanks to her, I learned that Tuscan food and tradition runs much deeper than good Chianti. I learned about chestnut and olive and truffle harvests, herbs that grow as freely as grass, and the significance of good homemade bread. It's surprisingly not a big pasta region (traditionally), although their local pasta is most likely to be pici (big thick spaghetti-like noodles. One is more likely to find Grigliata Mista (literally "mixed grill"); a dish made up of whatever meats were fresh and available that day. And if in season, you'll find mushrooms on any menu You can also get a good bowl of Fagioli (literally "beans"), which is as simple as white cannellini beans cooked in a tomato sauce. And we saw the sweet treat panforte just about everywhere, and of course had to try it! It's a rich cake made with honey, dried fruit, and nuts (we opted for chocolate with almonds and dried apricots).
|The Rosemary bread rolls|
|Pici pasta with shaved truffles and ricotta|
|Panforte Nero (chocolate)|
|Sampling olives used to make olive oil|
|Of course good wine wasn't hard to find either :)|