Tuscany is a region globally renowned for its enchanting beauty. Its rolling hills, sprawling vineyards, picturesque villages and medieval castles are the perfect recipe for a cyclist’s paradise.
But one cannot think of Tuscany’s beauty without sensing the rich aromas and flavours that are synonymous with the region. Tuscany is a dreamland for food and wine lover’s the world over, with hungry pilgrims making the trip just to enjoy some of the delectable cuisine and vino produced from the region’s rich soil.
Tuscany is home to some of Italy’s most renowned dishes, as well as some other rustic delights. Here are some of the mouth-watering plates you can expect to enjoy after a rewarding day’s cycling in Tuscany.
This is one of those eats that if you’re game enough to try you will not be disappointed with. The lampredotto sandwich simply consists of boiled tripe (the fourth and final stomach of a cow) and a spicy, green sauce known as “salsa verde”. We say if you’re game enough to try it as many people scoff at the idea of eating tripe, however, this sandwich is a Florentina institution, and is as juicy as any roast beef roll you would get back home.
Pappa al pomodoro
Perhaps no other dish encompasses the earthy simplicity of Tuscan cooking like pappa al pomodoro or “tomato mush”. A quickly whipped up soup consisting of stale bread, fresh tomatoes, garlic, local olive oil and basil, this is a dish that can be served at room temperature in the warmer months of the year. What makes this dish so special, and so much different to any tomato soup you’ve experienced, is the unbelievable freshness of the ingredients.
Bistecca alla fiorentina
For rare steak lovers, this is one cut you won’t want to bypass. Another Florentine favourite, bistecca alla fiorentina is a giant t-bone steak that comes from the local Chianina cattle breed. What makes it so special (and truly special if done so) is the meat being left to hang for a couple of weeks before butchering, allowing the meat to become ultra tender. The steak is quickly charred over a high heat, making the outside deliciously salty and the inside rare and warm.
An imperative starter for Tuscan festive meals, antipasto has become a staple for wine and cheese hangouts the world over. The typical Tuscan antipasto plate usually consists of cold cuts, cheese, pickles and crostini, and is presented in platters for people to pick at before moving onto the more heartier courses. A true delight after a long day’s cycling.
Because what would a trip to Tuscany be without enjoying fine wine? The region is well-and-long regarded as one of the world’s top fine wine producers, with the famous Chianti being no exception. A dry red wine, Chianti is the perfect accompaniment to the bistecca alla fiorentina, as well as being served alongside antipasti.
Prepared on behalf of A’qto Cycling, Tuscan cycling holiday specialists.