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Tuscan bread

“Mangiare senza pane e come non mangiare”: “No bread – no food”, 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.

Tuscan bread is unleavened, white with golden crust, fluffy and porous inside. It often has the shape of the round loaf (pagnotta) and sometimes is baked in an oblong shape (filetto). At first it may seem flavourless, but then you will taste fine aroma of wheat and bakery. Tuscan bread belnds well with salads, cheese, meat and vegetable dishes.

Local people love bread and it has a great number of sorts and plenty of dishes to go with. One of the famous kinds of bread is ciacino, sweet bread for All Saints Holiday; necio, chestnut flour cake; panina, bread with herbs; focacetta di Aulla, Aulla roll; bozza pratese, Prato roll; pane di Montegemoli, Montegemoli roll, and many others. Tuscan appetizer traditionally includes crostini – small sandwiches. Small pieces of grilled bread with garlic and olive oil are the ingredients of fettuna and bruschetta. Pappa al pomodoro – soup with bread and tomatoes, usually goes with pieces of dry bread. Some salad recepies as panzanella also iclude bread.

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