If you’re planning a trip to Tuscany, or even if you’re just looking to expand your culinary horizons, there are some foods that you absolutely must try. From the famous steak of Florentine cuisine to the humble but delicious ribollita soup, here are 12 dishes that will give you a true taste of Tuscany.
1. Tuscan bread
There’s nothing quite like Tuscan bread fresh out of the oven. The crust is crispy and golden brown, while the inside is soft and fluffy.
It’s the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of hearty soup or a plate of homemade pasta. And best of all, it’s easy to find in Tuscany, Italy.
Just about every bakery in town sells Tuscan bread, and it’s also common to see people selling it on the streets. If you’re looking for the best Tuscan bread, head to one of the local bakeries and ask for a loaf that was made that day. You won’t regret it!
There’s nothing quite like a bowl of ribollita to warm you up on a cold winter’s day. This Tuscan staple is a hearty soup made with vegetables, beans, and bread.
The soup is usually thickened with stale bread, which gives it a delicious creaminess. Ribollita is traditionally made with kale, but other greens can be used as well.
It’s also common to add chunks of Tuscan bread to the soup, which soak up the flavorful broth. This hearty dish is sure to fill you up and provide plenty of warmth on a chilly day.
Tuscany is renowned for its beautiful countryside and delicious food, and one of the region’s most iconic dishes is Panzanella. This rustic bread salad is traditionally made with stale bread that is soaked in water and then mixed with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and herbs.
The salad is then seasoned with olive oil and vinegar and often served with a variety of cheeses. While Panzanella is commonly associated with summertime, it can actually be enjoyed year-round.
In fact, many Tuscan families have their own special recipes for making the dish, passed down through generations. Whether you’re enjoying a picnic in the rolling hills of Tuscany or simply looking for a delicious way to use up some stale bread, Panzanella is sure to hit the spot.
4. Crostini Toscani
No visit to Tuscany is complete without trying Crostini Toscani, a traditional Tuscan dish consisting of grilled bread topped with garlic, olive oil, and salt. The dish is simple but incredibly flavorful, and it’s a perfect way to start a meal or enjoy a light snack.
Crostini Toscani originated in the city of Florence, but it can now be found all over Tuscany. Whether you’re enjoying a glass of Chianti in a quaint cafe or exploring the bustling streets of Rome, be sure to sample this delicious Tuscan treat.
5. Pappa al Pomodoro
One of the most iconic dishes of Tuscan cuisine is pappa al Pomodoro, a simple soup made with tomatoes, bread, and olive oil. While it might not sound like much, this humble soup is absolutely bursting with flavor.
The key to its deliciousness is in the quality of the ingredients. Fresh, ripe tomatoes are essential, as is good-quality bread. The bread is first soaked in water, then squeezed dry and added to the soup pot along with the tomatoes.
The soup is simmered until the bread has broken down and the flavors have melded together, then finished with a drizzle of olive oil. Pappa al Pomodoro is typically served as a first course, but it can also be enjoyed on its own as a light lunch or snack.
6. Grilled Steak
Grilled steak is one of the region’s most iconic dishes. The key to a perfect grilled steak is in the quality of the meat – Tuscany is home to some of the finest beef in the world.
Once you’ve selected your steak, simply seasoned it with salt and pepper and grill it over charcoal until it reaches the perfect level of doneness. Serve your steak with a simple side salad and a glass of Chianti, and you’ll have a meal that’s fit for a king.
7. Bistecca alla Fiorentina
There’s nothing quite like a perfectly cooked steak, and in Tuscany, they know how to do it right. Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a Florentine specialty made with a thick cut of beef from the Chianina breed of cattle.
The meat is grilled over an open flame and seasoned simply with salt and pepper. The result is a juicy, flavorful steak that is sure to satisfy any appetite. When paired with a glass of Tuscan red wine, it makes for a perfect meal.
Tuscany is well-known for its rolling hills, picturesque villages, and wine country landscapes. But it’s also home to some of the best food in Italy. One dish that should not be missed is porchetta.
This traditional roast pork dish is made by rubbing the meat with garlic and herbs, then slow-roasting it over an open fire. The result is a succulent and flavorful piece of meat that pairs perfectly with a glass of Chianti.
No visit to Italy is complete without indulging in some delicious gelato. And there’s no better place to enjoy this delectable treat than Tuscany, where gelato was invented over four centuries ago.
Tuscany is also home to some of the best gelaterias in the world, and each one has its own unique flavor to offer. From rich chocolate and creamy vanilla to fresh fruit and tangy citrus, there’s a flavor for everyone’s taste.
And unlike other types of ice cream, gelato is made with milk rather than cream, which makes it a lighter and healthier option. So next time you’re in Italy, enjoy some authentic gelato from Tuscany.
When it comes to traditional Tuscan cookies, cantucci is in a class of its own. These almond-based biscotti are typically flavored with anise, and they are renowned for their crunchy texture and intense flavor.
Cantucci is often enjoyed alongside a glass of Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine. The combination of the rich flavor of the cantucci with the sweetness of the wine is truly heavenly.
11. Vin Santo
When it comes to wine, Tuscany is best known for its full-bodied reds. But the region also produces a delicious fortified wine called Vin Santo.
Traditionally made from a blend of Malvasia, Sangiovese, and Trebbiano grapes, Vin Santo is left to age for three to five years in small oak barrels. This long aging process gives the wine its deep golden color and rich flavor profile, which often includes notes of caramel, almond, and dried fruit.
Vin Santo is typically served as an after-dinner drink, but it also pairs well with dessert. If you find yourself in Tuscany, be sure to order a glass of this delicious wine. You won’t be disappointed.
12. Zuppa Toscana
Zuppa Toscana is a delicious Tuscan soup made with sausage, kale, and potatoes. The name of the soup comes from the Italian word for “soup,” zuppa, and the region of Tuscany, where the soup is traditionally made.
Zuppa Toscana is a hearty, filling soup that is perfect for a cold winter day. The sausage and kale give the soup a savory flavor, while the potatoes add a touch of sweetness.
The soup can be made with either chicken or beef broth, and it is often served with a slice of bread on the side. Zuppa Toscana is a truly delicious soup that is sure to warm you up on a cold day.
Whether you’re looking for a delicious dish to enjoy with a glass of wine or a tasty cookie to pair with your coffee, Tuscany has something for everyone. From traditional Tuscan porchetta and gelato to more unique treats like cantucci and Vin Santo, there’s no shortage of delicious food to be enjoyed in this beautiful region.