During your stay at the B&B Casa Bellavista, situated in Cortona in Arezzo district, in Toscana, and at the Locanda Poggioleone, near Lago Trasimeno, in Umbria, in Castiglione del Lago(District of Perugia), you can taste the Tuscan culinary excellence.
Crostini con milza e fegatelli
Among the most typical Tuscan appetizers, we find the croutons with spleen and livers. In restaurants, at home, everywhere, this unique and ancient dish always finds a respectable representation. It could be prepared in slightly different ways, but the results will always be the same.
The croutons with spleen and livers, are undoubtedly rich of both history and flavour, they are rustic, simple, and just delicious. Their origins root in the finest Tuscan farmer tradition, right in the times when, during the season of beating of the wheat, housewives used to cook for all the men working in the fields. It represented a festive moment, since everybody could eat a savoury meal with a glass of good wine.
During the traditional festival for All Saints’ Day, you will have the pleasure to try the Pan coi santi, which is especially made once a year, on the occasion of this religious festival.
You will be able to find it in the bakeries as well as in the pastry shops. The typology of can change. For example, in the area of Siena you can find the homemade version of it, which is different from the city one for its richness and softness. The Pan coi santi, with an appealing savour, is an ancient sweet, in which are skilfully mixed the spiciness of the black pepper, with the sweet flavour of the raisins.
It is a sweet representing the Sienese nobility, and it tells about the time when in this glorious municipality there were rich medieval markets, which used to bring – besides money – stories about far away cultures and exotic culinary arts.
Fagioli al fiasco
The facioli al fiasco (a bean-based recipe) personify the ancient, noble Tuscan traditions, when the wicker wine bottles were used to cook the beans. They used some oakum as membrane to let the vapour – formed from the hot water of cooking –pass through it. So, once, the wicker wine bottle was placed next to the fireplace among the ashes, patiently waiting until the beans absorbed all the water. Quite a slow cooking, but it would allow tasting a delicious dish.
Also today, the fagioli al fiasco, even if they are not made with the ancient wicker wine bottles, are still prepared through the same traditional cooking. In fact, in the Tuscan workshops, fairs, and markets, it is possible to find these wicker wine bottles made of glass, of many different shapes, and the adequate perforated cork to let the vapour pass.
It is a typical Tuscan cold dish based on stale and made humid bread.
It is a farmer poor dish and very simple to make, since it does not need any cooking. The origin of the name panzanella could come from the mix of the words pane (bread) and zanella, as it is called the tureen, or simply from the word Panzana, which was the original word for mush.
Besides being a savoury way to use the stale bread, the panzarella is also a delicious as unique dish to eat during the hot summery days. It has a strong savour, even being a simple and humble soup of farmer origin.
Its preparation requires, obviously, the usage of the typical Tuscan stale bread, and other spicy ingredients such as basil and red onion; then everything is dressed with salt, vinegar, and the incredible Tuscan olive oil.