5 Tuscan dishes of the regional tradition
Our travel to discover the traditional recipes of the Italian regions continues. Now, it’s time to discover another region with a rich culinary heritage: an interesting mix of poor ingredients that make the Tuscan cuisine rich in tastes. Here you are some ancient recipes of the culinary tradition of the region.
Traditional Tuscan dishes: Cecina with rosemary
It is a poor dish of the peasant tradition, complete and rich in proteins. The use of the chickpeas flour is a tradition of the cuisine of lots of regions, from the “farinata” of Liguria to “panelle” of Sicily, Tuscany has its own version: Cecina, called also cake, is traditionally cooked in the wood-fired oven and it is typical of the province of Pisa. It is a kind of low “cake” cooked in the oven; the dough is prepared with chickpeas flour, water, oil, salt and rosemary, traditionally served with an abundant grinding of pepper.
The history of Cecina is ancient; this recipe has spread in Italy starting from the south of France and the Cote Azur, arriving in Liguria and Tuscany. These are the regions that started to cook and export them for the first time. The secrets for a good Cecina are the cooking at high temperature, the thinness and the right equilibrium among the ingredients.
Traditional Tuscan dishes: Panigacci
Another poor recipe of the ancient peasant tradition. Panigacci are typical of the north of Tuscany, above all on the tables of Lunigiana. Ingredients are simple: flour, water and salt are blend together to create a soft batter, cooked between two hot pieces of terracotta on the fire. The tradition wants that the family is reunited around the fire to assist the low cooking of Panigacci, that are then tasted with cold cuts, cheeses or diced and seasoned with pesto. They are called also Testaroli, Panigacci was born in the country of Podenzana; the history tells that during the Second World War, after that the German people destroyed a bridge and the streets, the inhabitants survived eating Panigacci, prepared with chestnut flour.
Traditional Tuscan dishes: Acquacotta
Between “Ribollita” and “Pappa al Pomodoro”, the Tuscan cuisine is the first in preparing traditional soups. An ancient and good soup is “Acquacotta”, a dish that the peasants should eat in the countryside while the herd grazed. The ingredients are simple and the vegetable are seasonal, the peasants left with dried bread, oil and salt in their sack and then they collected the herbs and typical vegetable choosing the best fruits of the season that modify thus “Acquacotta” in the different parts of the years. The most popular Tuscan version foresees roasted stale bread, pecorino and eggs and a mix of vegetables among which tomatoes, celery, onions and carrots.
Traditional Tuscan dishes: Lambredotto, tripe and poppa
Meat lovers don’t eat only Fiorentina in Tuscany, the Tuscan tradition is famous for its knowledge in cooking offal and entrails. Stewed lampredotto, poppa and tripe is a common dish that is still popular on the tables of Florence. Lampredotto is the abomasum of bovine, the stomach and dark and close to the intestine, pretty fat and with a delicate taste. It is traditionally boiled and seasoned with green sauce and served in two slices of bread. Tripe is made from the three pre-stomachs, a mix of omasum, reticulo and rumen, the taste is intense taste, cooked in a tomato sauce and seasoned with pecorino.
Poppa, finally is the mammary glandes of the cow, fried, boiled or cooked with onion.
Traditional Tuscan dishes: “Torta di Cecco”
“Torta di Cecco” is a typical desserts of Christmas, similar to Panforte but more delicate. It comes from Siena and its origins date back to the Medieval period. Cecco, the nickname of Francesco is the typical name of the area of Siena, and the legend wants that he is Cecco Angiolieri, a writer, friend of Dante Alighieri. Torta Cecco is rich in taste and it is prepared with dried apricots and candied orange, dried fruit, honey and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.