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Food or Drink Specialties Found in TUSCANY?

Food or Drink Specialties Found in TUSCANY?

Old Mar 24th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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Food or Drink Specialties Found in TUSCANY?

I'm making up a little list for my trip. In New Orleans has their gumbo and Hurricanes; San Francisco it's sourdough bread and Dungeness crab; and New England have their lobsters, etc.

So, in that vein, if you were visiting the hill towns in TUSCANY (although we'll specifically be visiting Orvieto, Montalcino, Siena, San Gimignano and Lucca),

(1) What city or regional food or drink* specialty is something you MUST experience because it's just not the same anywhere else; and

(2) At what place or establishment in particular prepares or provides it the best?


*I already know I'm going to get some Brunello wine in Montalcino.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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I am a big fan of the Vino Nobile de Montelpulciano and I believe pecorino cheese originated in Montalcino. You may want to check FoodNetwork.com. They had a show on last weekend where Tyler Florence did a tour of food in Tuscany.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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Pick up a copy of "Under the Tuscan Sun" by Frances Mayes. She has WONDERFUL lists of all the wonderful Tuscan foods and even includes recipes so you will know what is in the dishes you order!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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Hi mbresso, if you find a restaurant that serves Florentine steak (assuming you enjoy steak) I would order one. Their steaks are fantastic!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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My husband absolutely loved the cinghiale (wild boar) dishes he tasted in Tuscany. This is a regional speciality, and you'll definitely find it on the menu of many restaurants in San Gimignano and Siena.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Coniglio! Rabbit,something I never considered trying before,has become a favorite of mine. I'm also a fan of wild boar. White beans with sage and olive oil can taste like heaven,and be sure to have some vin santo with biscotti for dessert.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Porcini mushrooms, white truffles, olives and olive oil, Chianti wine, anything called "Florentine".

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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Try the house red wine, wherever you dine. It's cheap, and I never tasted a bad one while there! Don't have to be in the chianti area of Tuscany, as there are great vineyards everywhere!

I can recomend one restaurant in San Gimignano: La Stella. It's in the main tourist area amongst shops,and I had a great pork dish and "penne Stella" for my "primi." It is not fancy,just good food at a decent price. There seemed to be locals as well as tourists dining there.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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Try the panforte in Siena. It is the specialty there. It is a fruit and nut cake that is very good. (Note: I am one of those people that actually likes fruit cake at Christmas) This was different than fruitcake and I really liked this. I think it is almonds, pistachios, dates, and not sure what else. I
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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Oops - forgot add - Orvieto wine. It is a nice crisp white.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:58 PM
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cls2paris, oh heavens yes, the Orvietto wine. It is fantastic!! And the wine from Orvietto that is shipped to the US is not the same.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 08:13 PM
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White beans. I had the best bean dishes and soups. And of course Chianti.
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 05:23 AM
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Be sure to try Limoncello and also fantastic lemonade in Tuscany. Enjoy!
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 05:40 AM
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Don't forget Ribollita in Florence-a great bean soup with olive oil drizzled on top.
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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Isn't Limoncello a specialty of the Amalfi Coast?

In the Chianti region, at trattoria called La Grotta della Rana, I had a dish of cinghiale (wild boar ragu) over pappardelle pasta that was fantastic. Also at the same place, my husband had the mixed grill with the best sausage we've ever tasted.

Other specialities I recommend from the region include: fresh pecorino cheese (very different from the dried kind and great on a sandwich with salami); olive oil; honey; anything with porcini mushrooms and truffles; and, of course, the wines -- Chianti Classico Riserva, Brunello and Super Tuscans (less expensive and more extensive choices than imports to US).
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 11:17 AM
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If you have room left at the end of your meal, try cantucci (small biscotti) dipped in vin santo, a dessert wine. Taken separately, neither of these things would excite me, but together -- bliss.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 01:39 AM
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Panforte!

I bring a few home every time I go

Steve
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