Tuscan cuisine has its own features in every province and still has some common peculiarities which distinguish it from other cuisines in the world. One of the unique features is olive oil and bread which are at the same time additional and compulsory ingredients of many recipes. Local savoury herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, sage, parsley, etc.), garlic and onion are used for dressing. The simplicity of cooking is one of the features of Tuscan cuisine. All dishes are easy to cook and one can always taste the natural flavor of the products. Tuscan table is famous for a variety of vegetables which are served not in salads but “as they are”. Tuscan cuisine is often described as essenziale – substantial, main as it cares for keeping of the essence of each of the product used. Cooks don’t often decorate the dishes. Any dish goes with famous Tuscan wines the presence of which is as obligatory as the presence of bread.
Thanks to the geographical position of Tuscany its cuisine includes sea food and country food. Each Tuscan province can surprise the visitors with delicatessen.
Tuscan cuisine of the poor and the rich is almost alike. The main ingredients and recipes are used to be the same. The difference is not in quality but in quantity. The dishes which wealthy people could afford on every day basis were cooked by peasants only in case of a holiday. Today Tuscan guests can taste the whole variety of local dishes.
Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano - this is not a complete list of the Tuscan wines. In order to get acquainted with the variety of local wines best of all would be to take one of the 14 so called "wine roads". The most famous is "Via Chiantigniana". Multiple trattorias and wineries are always glad to welcome all the visitors.
According to the Italian proverb salad should be cooked by four chefs: a miser, a philosopher, a prodigal and a painter. The miser should serve the salad with vinegar, the philosopher should add salt; the prodigal adds oil and the painter mixes all the ingredients. The dishes are different for each of the provinces. Pasta, despite the prejudice, is a favorite but not the only national dish.
Tuscany is noted for the picturesque olive-woods on the beautiful hillsides. Although the beauty of the landscapes is not less important than the benefit of the oil trees. Olive oil in Tuscany is considered to be the best. High quality of this delicate product is provided thanks to the favorable climate and soil peculiarities. In some places of Tuscany people use the traditional way of production: olives are gathered manually and then pressed mechanically.
â€śMangiare senza pane e come non mangiareâ€ť: â€śNo bread â€“ no foodâ€ť, say Tuscans. There was a time when bread with onions or crust of bread grilled with vegetables used to be the main dish of peasants. A Tuscan could eat up to 650 grammes of bread which means about 230 kilos a year! Despite the modesty of present figure, 74 kilos a year, bread is always served and treated with great warmth by Tuscans.