Why does Tuscan bread have no salt?

The unsalted Tuscan bread from Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort

Bread throughout Italy is a fundamental food, always present on the table at lunch and dinner.

But each region has its own specialties, discover with us the characteristics of Tuscan bread and why it is without salt.

The tradition of bread in Italy

The various types and shapes of bread convey cultural messages and meanings through their shapes, which can be various: geometric, vegetal, floral, anthropomorphic.

In Italy each region has its own specific tradition in the production of bread, which differs in type and ingredients.

The different types of bread are named according to the type of flour they are made of or

to additional ingredients.

  • Soft wheat flour bread: It is the “white bread”, the most widespread and can take the most varied forms. Can also be mixed with other cereal flours and the bread will simply take the name of rye bread, oat, rice, corn, etc.
  • Bread of wheat flour: With a yellowish color, like that of corn, it keeps for a long time: it is typical of southern regions.
  • Durum wheat granulated bread: This type of bread is also found especially in the south. The durum wheat semolina is also used to package “taralli” and “friselle” for example.
  • Whole grain bread: Wholemeal bread is made with flour rich in bran, coming from the coating exterior of the grain of wheat. It is darker than white bread and has a high content of fibers.
  • Special breads: It is a category whose classification is based not on the type of flour used, but on ingredients that are added to the base dough: the allowed elements are butter, oil of olive, lard, milk, figs, olives, anise, oregano, sesame, malt and cumin.

Bread in Tuscany

When someone firsts sits down to a meal in Tuscany, they might spot a cheeky basket of bread hiding behind the oil, salt and vinegar at any Tuscan restaurant.

Crusty outside and soft interior, probably the most distinguishing characteristic is the fact that when you first bite on a piece of this Tuscan staple, you might be surprised to taste no salt. In fact, many are surprised that bread in Tuscany is bland, a typical feature of this region.

According to in Mugello (the tuscan area where Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort is set) “the Neanderthals are said to be the first modern man to make flour”. Researchers from the Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protosoria, have found traces of flour in the region of Mugello that dates back to 30,000 years.

Why does Tuscan bread have no salt?

There are many stories about why the bread in Tuscany is without salt, but the most popular one is that salt was heavily taxed during the Middle Ages in Tuscany so Tuscans opted to go without in their daily bread. There are also rumors swirling about that Pisa placed an embargo on salt to the Tuscan city of florence.

Now, you might be wondering why Tuscan bread is still made without salt. Well the reason is, tuscan food tone has very rich sauces that pair well with a simple bread lacking salt. A salt less bread helps you focus on the flavors of the dish, including topped with extra-virgin olive oil.

We are waiting for you in Tuscany to taste our gastronomic specialties

One of our favorite snacks, and an Italian favorite is crusty tuscan bread toasted and rubbed with raw garlic, than sprinkled with our olive oil and a little salt. So, if you too want to taste all the taste of Tuscan cuisine we are waiting for you at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort!

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