Tuscany is perhaps the most famous Italian region in the world, known for being the cradle of the Renaissance, of the art of culture. We all know what to see in Florence, what to do in Versilia and Maremma and we remember Pisa with its leaning tower. However, if we analyze Tuscan cuisine, famous dishes dominate such as the Florentine steak and the Livorno cacciucco. Yet Tuscany, especially Florence, also excels in desserts. Here are five delicacies to make even the most difficult of gourmets lick their lips.
Let’s start from Castagnaccio, perhaps the most famous Tuscan dessert.
As the name suggests, the main ingredient is chestnut flour, accompanied by walnuts, pine nuts, raisins and rosemary. The tradition of Castagnaccio has roots in the Tuscan Renaissance.
Since chestnut flour was used by the poor, it was actually considered a popular dessert. Today, however, it is a delicious dessert, also prepared by the great pastry chefs of the Region.
Not everyone knows that ice cream was invented by that genius Bernardo Buontalenti.
Well we owe him the zuccotto, the parfait that boasts numerous versions. The birth of this dessert is linked to the arrival of the Spanish ambassadors in Paris, at the court of the Queen of France, the very Tuscan Catherine de ‘Medici.
Buontalenti elaborated this recipe which was called the helmet of Catherine, because it was thought to have been created inside a helmet used by the infantry called zuccotto. The base of the dessert was made up of ricotta, cocoa grains, candied citrus fruit, with a wrapper of a kind of sponge cake (or Genoese bread) covered with alchermes, which gave it an intense red color.
It is a small sweet bun, consisting of bread dough, sultanas (zibibbo) and rosemary.
Eggs and milk are also added to the dough. It is a dessert of very ancient origin, dating back at least to the Middle Ages, and is linked to the period before Easter.
In particular, the Pan di ramerino was on sale in the ovens of Florence and the countryside only on Holy Thursday, already blessed by the parish priests of the area. Today, needless to say, it can be found in Florence’s bakeries at any time of the year.
Typical dessert of the Carnival period.
Despite the name, it has nothing to do with the salty “relative”: it is, instead, a soft cake, made with very simple ingredients. The old recipe requires not to exceed 3 centimeters in height, but in recent years many variations have been introduced, which offer this dessert garnished with whipped cream or various creams.
The precious Tuscan grape, at the base of the most famous Italian wines in the world such as Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, is also the basis of this typical dessert of the areas of Florence and Prato.
It was once cooked on the occasion of the harvest, so its origins are peasant, especially for the ingredients used: bread dough, olive oil, sugar and black grapes. Tradition has it that black grapes are of a particular variety, Canaiola, with small grains and many seeds.
If you can’t wait to taste the typical desserts of Florence and other delicious specialties, we are waiting for you at Villa Campestri for a stay of pure relaxation!
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