Tuscany is one of the most well known regions in Italy. Many Italian food lovers find some of their favorite dishes in Tuscany. People love the simplicity of Tuscan Italian food and the region has its own very distinct style of cuisine.
One appeal of Tuscan Italian food is that it is generally healthy. This is due in large part to its use of olive oil. There are many different varieties of olives that are grown in the area and used extensively in the cooking. Beans are also widely used as are vegetables, seasonal fruits, and mushrooms. Of course the area also has the cheeses that are a signature of Italian food. In October and November the people are up for a real treat because this is when the famous white truffles of the area appear. Contrasting this lighter side of the Italian food is the extensive use of meat in Tuscany. High quality beef can be found in the region.
There is even a specific breed used for the famous t-bone steaks that are known as Florentine steak. Pork is also used a source of protein in the Tuscan Italian food. One of the reasons for their famed use of meat has historical roots. When the country started relying heavily on polenta and other corn products, many people began dying due to malnutrition. It was discovered that the thousands of deaths were tied to a lack of protein and other nutrients. Since that time the Italians have taken care to add more variety to their diet than just pasta.
Tuscany has perhaps more unique Italian food dishes than any other region. Some popular dishes include fresh vegetables either raw or slightly cooked and served with olive oil that is seasoned for dipping. Tuscany is also known for a reheated vegetable soup dish. The meat dishes that are most unique to the area include Tuscan-style veal shank and T-bone steak. The Italian food that features pork in the area includes creamed bacon and a complicated dish of pig’s liver stuffed into a pig’s stomach and then slowly baked with stock and red wine.
The real Italian food gem in Tuscany is not just the unique entrees, but the unique breads. There are specific breads for specific holidays and seasons in Tuscany. On Good Friday bread that is baked on a bed of chestnut leaves is served. They also have breads made from maize, fried in olive oil, made with sweet chestnut flour with rosemary leaves, breads made from a mixture of different flours; the list goes on and on. Usually Italian food makes one think of all the different forms of pasta, but in Tuscany the Italian food of variety is the bread. On Easter Sunday special bread that is made with raisins, saffron, and other spices is consecrated in church before being served. It has a high fat content and is served with eggs. There are also sweet rolls that are eaten on the St. Anthony feast day. Who knew that Italian food included so many different breads? Just as there are many different cheeses in Italian food, there are just as many Italian food breads to serve with them.
Tuscany is a treasure trove of Italian food. Try eating at a Tuscan inspired Italian food restaurant, or make sure to visit Tuscany while in Italy to try all the different unique Italian food dishes that they have to share.