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Tuscany's hidden treasures

Posted by GLflorence on October 21, 2019

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If you think that Chianti is the Italian translation for wine… well, you’re wrong. Our region has a lot to offer, especially in autumn! Porcini, truffles, oil… here’s a few things you shouldn’t miss when visiting Tuscany! 

Porcini, so hard to find but so tasty inside our risotto

Porcini are a delicious variety of mushrooms which can be found into Italian forests. It’s not easy to find them, you have to walk inside the wood with your eyes wide open and be lucky enough to get them before other people will. They hide behind leaves, and their brownish colour doesn’t help in distinguishing them from the soil. Nevertheless, don’t worry too much about this! You can easily find them in markets all around Italy. Moreover, many restaurants offer seasonal plates like risotto con porcini, tagliatelle ai porcini, porcini soup etc. You can’t leave Tuscany without eating one of these amazing dishes! 

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Olive oil, one of the best oils worldwide

Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil is well-known for its peculiar and strong taste. The production process follows strict parameters, creating an oil with an acidity percentage that doesn’t overcome the 0,8%. It must be approved by a jury and it can’t be treated with chemicals. The olives are picked up manually and the oil can’t be modified in any way. With a strong and flavored taste, this oil should be eaten with some bread or any food that doesn’t alter its characteristics. 

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Truffles, culinary gold 

If you’ve been wondering around Florence you’ve noticed for sure that it’s full of truffle’s shops. Well, you should know that white truffles are famous in the Chianti area, and this is the right period to pick them up. You can find them especially in Crete Senesi, where the soil and environment in which they grow give them an intense and peculiar flavor. Truffles should be eaten only when fresh and are usually combined with pasta, potatoes and eggs. 

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“Honey, we love bees”

Chestnut, heather, fir honey… Chianti’s apiculture offers genuine products with many varieties of honeys. Bee-keepers respect animals and avoid stressing them out too much with intensive production plans, following the flow of nature. Some varieties can be used as a sweetener for tea and infusions, but there are also some honeys that should be eaten with cheeses (pecorino is the most common one in Tuscany). 

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Pecorino, the lord of cheeses

Pecorino is a hard sheep’s milk cheese that is milder and less salty than the Romano one. You can find it all over Tuscany and can be more or less aged. We love to eat it as an appetizer together with cuttings and bread, but you can also try it with balsamic vinegar, honey or marmalade. If you like cheese… well, you’re in the right place! Pecorino in grotta, fresco, stagionato, piccante… there are infinite kinds to try!

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To taste some Italian goodness you can join our tours! For instance, our Siena-San Gimignano Tour stops in Chianti too. After visiting San Gimignano and the beautiful city of Siena, you will taste out typical products in a local cellar of the Chianti area. If you'd rather have a private and unique experience, you can also visit our tailor-made section: our experts will create the perfect trip for you! 


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