fter a long day spent wandering the streets of Siena, or sampling some of the art treasures, thoughts turn to food, and here is just one more of the pleasures that a stay in Siena offers. It's very difficult to find fault with the Tuscan food. The ingredients are fresh, the recipes are simple combinations cooked with care and time, and the result has your mouth watering!
Some typical dishes and products include the following: beef from the special Chianina breed of cattle, pici, crostini neri, fagioli all'uccelletto, pasta e fagioli, extra virgin olive oil, pecorino cheese, truffles, tuscan salami, and desserts like panforte, ricciarelli and cantucci. To go with this excellent food, Tuscan wine must not be forgotten.
There is a saying; "un pranzo senza vino e come un giorno senza sole"; a lunch without wine is like a day without sunshine. And the first wine on the list is Chianti. Created by the Italian minister Ricasoli, it has been one of the first wines to be appreciated in America; Italian immigrants exported this wine there in the straw-covered flasks which have now become so famous and symbolize the same Chianti all over the world. It is still the wine produced in the largest quantity (909037 hl in the vintage of 1993).
Crostini di fegato - Chicken liver crostini
Lightly toasted slices of bread spread with liver paste, which is made from chicken livers, capers, anchovy fillets, chopped sage leaves and butter. Originally this spread was called peverada and was made using saffron which was widely grown in the countryside around the city.
Bruschetta - Garlic bread with tomatoes and herbs
Simply and easy... Bruschetta is an appetizer made with tuscan bread, tomatoes, fresh basil, and olive oil. It s probably the most wonderful appetizer during fresh tomato season.
Try it and you'll be hooked!
Ribollita (Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup)
Tuscan cuisine is famous for giving new life to leftovers. This dish is a perfect example. An icon of Tuscan cuisine, ribollita literally means "reboiled." It's difficult to find an authentic ribollita because it takes 3 days to prepare. Minestrone is made the first day and eaten as is. The second day the leftover soup is layered with thin slices of bread (or toasted bread rubbed with garlic) and baked with thin slices of red onion on top. The third day the leftovers are reboiled. Recipes for minestrone vary from region to region, restaurant to restaurant, and household to household. Most recipes are based upon regional produce. The most important ingredient is Tuscan minestrone is cavolo nero, or a winter black cabbage. Its leaves range in color from dark green to almost black. Once grown only in Tuscany, enterprising farmers in California's Salinas Valley are now growing it along with Royal Rose radicchio. If you cannot find black cabbage, substitute kale, chard, or use only Savoy cabbage.
Pici - Thick, chewy spaghetti
Typical of the region and served with a rich sauce ...just a suggestion: try it :-)
Arista - Roast loin of pork
Pork served sliced, with a gravy made from sage, rosemary, and garlic, fried together lighty; drenched with wine. The name comes from the Latin arista (a spike, or spine, referring to the jagged bone in this cut of meat).
Tagliata di Manzo - Grilled and sliced beef
Combining a great steak with peppery arugula salad might sound like an odd idea, but I guarantee that once you've tried it, you won't want to eat steak any other way. Traditionally this steak is always served rare, but if desired you could cook it a little more. It should be meltingly tender though to contrast sharply with the crisp, peppery lettuce.
Fagioli all'uccelletto - Beans in tomato sauce
The same recipe as before but with puréed tomatoes. These beans
are delicious with boiled meats and sausages.