Tuscany is famed for its cities, its churches, its great works of art and its food. The countryside of Tuscany, the area centered on Florence is where Italian cooking reaches a high point, blending as it does the ingredients of the North and the South in a happy combination. This love for Italian food has translated to menus all the way in New York City (https://topbrunchspots.com/best-brunch-nyc/)
Tuscan food is essentially a variant on the Mediterranean diet. It is rich in olive oil, legumes, fish, fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables. The carbohydrates typically eaten in Tuscany, such as bread, pasta, rice and polenta, are low in fat. This diet is good for weight management and heart health.
If you are going to begin cooking in the Tuscan manner you need to stock your store cupboard with a number of ingredients. You will certainly need good quality, extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin oil is produced in the first pressing without the application of any heat. it contains all the minor ingredients that are so important both for taste and health.
You will also need dried pasta preferably made in Italy or according to traditional recipes and methods. Most fresh pasta sold in supermarkets is of poorer quality that good dried pasta and should be avoided.
Legumes, such as cannellini beans, borlotti beans, chick peas and lentils are essential. You will need some medium ground cornmeal for polenta. Avoid the ready made polenta and make your own.
The kind of rice you will need is arborio rice for risotto. You may be able to get hold of carnaroli, vialone or nano rice which are also often used in Tuscany. But they are not so widely available as arborio.
Balsamic vinegar is widely used in Tuscan cuisine, as are anchovies. For seasoning you need capers, dried porcini mushrooms and plenty of herbs.
Parmesan cheese should be bought piece not ready grated. The grated parmesan soons goes off and tastes terrible. Once you have tried the fresh kind you will never go back to grated variety.
Tuscan classic recipes include meat filet in balsamic vinegar sauce. You might use beef or pork for this dish. The steak is simply fried and then the pan is deglazed with a mixture of stock, balsamic vinegar, lemon, pepper and garlic. The resulting sauce can be thickened with a little cornflour but this is not essential.
You might begin your Tuscan meal with a typical Tuscan soup consisting of cannellini beans and vegetables. This soup also makes a good simple meal with a chunk of ciabatta or focaccia bread.
One of the great Tuscan favourites is bruschetta which consists of slices of bread spread with tomato sauce and cooked under a broiler or grill.
A famous Tuscan dessert is Schiacciata alla Fiorentina or Florentine sponge cake, which is a sponge made with olive oil, flavored with organge zest and made a golden color with saffron.
Finally, and most essentially, there is wine. Wine has been made in Tuscany since the time of the Etruscans who first domesticated the grapes that grew wild there. Their tomb paintings record convivial feasts at which the guests drank wine. The most famous Tuscan wine is, of course, Chianti, which is known all over the world. But you will encounter others such as Brunello di Montalcino. There are even some white wines such as Bianco di Bolgheri.
Tuscan food is often referred to as “slow food.” That is to say it is produced, cooked and eaten slowly in contrast to the mass produced fast food that makes up such a large part of the modern diet. It preserves local culinary traditions that have been developed in Tuscany over centuries. For more Info click Milk Pros and Cons
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