Thursday 1 December 2011

Tuscan culinary specialities

There's an excellent page devoted to Tuscan culinary specialities on the Greve in Chianti web site that's worth a look. It provides a brief introduction to the following topics with links to more comprehensive information.

Tuscan olive oil - some good advice on making sure that your olive oil is the real thing. There seems to be a certain amount of low grade oil, some of it not originating from olives, on the market labelled as extra virgin olive oil.

Tuscan bread - unsalted and misunderstood.

Schiacciata con l'uva - a delicious sweet version of focacci, a kind of flatbread, prepared during the grape harvest in September.

Porcini mushrooms - delicious in endless dishes as well as fried in olive oil with some nipitella.

Tuscan truffles - when fresh and the real thing, they add a wonderful aroma to pasta or poultry (e.g. under the skin of a roasted pheasant).

Tuscan saffron - like truffles, very expensibe but needed in only small quantities to provide a unique flavour. Buy from the grower to be sure you're getting unadulterated saffron.

Bistecca alla fiorentina - Florentine grilled steak - learn how to cook it and how to order it in a Tuscan restaurant.

Tuscan prosciutto crudo - cured ham slice off the bone and accompanied by Tuscan bread.

Tuscan pecorino - ewes' milk cheese.

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