Tuscany and food are like horses and carriages – they are paired together in perfect harmony. The cooking of Tuscany is famous for its beautiful simplicity and the regional recipes have been fashioned and grown up around quality that needs no embellishments, elaborate garnishing or sauces.
Beef, Chianti, and beans spring immediately to mind when Tuscany and Florence are mentioned, yet the breath-taking countryside yields an abundance of vegetables and grain of every description; furthermore, hams, pork and cherries grace the tables of this region.
Delicious chicken dishes also form part of the menu in Tuscany where the use of chicken livers and giblets in mouth-watering creations can be found in many local eateries and kitchens throughout the region.
Lucca produces exquisite olive oil (perhaps the finest in the whole of Italy) and the local cooking is perhaps the finest in early autumn when the new season’s olives are pressed. Additionally, an overabundance of fresh herbs features in the local markets and are used with gay abandon in Tuscan dishes of every description.
On the coastal region Leghorn (Livorno, a beautiful coastal city), boasts a legendary fish soup, while a little south a variety of eel is the speciality of the region. In Pisa, minuscule, still blind eel are caught in the river Arno.
When in Tuscany do as the Tuscans do – it is a rather smart move to seek out local dishes and original choices.
When it comes to the wine of the region, a Chianti Classico is a must – and although Tuscany is well-known for its Chianti, the region produces some wonderful white wines, too.