Italian food is revered worldwide and with good reason. They are the masters of culinary excellence and have been doing farm-to-table long before the phrase was coined. Italy boasts a long growing season which explains why its food is so tasty all year-round. Tuscan cuisine, in particular, is appreciated all over the world and known for its simplicity and use of fresh and local herbs and ingredients. With the reopening of Karma Borgo Di Colleoli this summer, we’ve curated 5 local dishes from the region for you to try. As well, there are several irresistible vacation deals for Members and guests. La Festa!
The Tuscan people worship their bread, olive oil and the traditional bruschetta, which is known locally as fettunta. Order it to begin your meal and you’ll have a freshly toasted slice of Tuscan bread generously rubbed with garlic, lavishly drizzled with a green olive oil and sparingly sprinkled with salt.
Chicken Liver Pâté
Every celebratory meal in Tuscany is opened with chicken liver pâté crostini, known locally as crostini neri or black crostini. Locally sourced chicken livers are cooked with vegetables, made creamy with a knob of butter and the flavours are enhanced with capers and anchovy paste. The pâté is then spread on toasted slices of bread, which sometimes are also soaked in hot broth – Truly delicious.
Tuscan farmers used their bread leftovers to make a summer bread salad with their sun-ripened vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers and onion, seasoned heartily with olive oil and vinegar. Perfect for the summer months this salad is both refreshing and light whilst also packing a punch with the flavours. A richer version of panzanella calls for tuna and capers, too.
The Florentine T-bone steak really needs no introduction, the secret of its delicious taste comes from the quality of the meat, typically from Chianina cattle – an ancient Tuscan breed known for its prized and tasty meat – seasoned with traditional local spices and grilled over red-hot coals. It’s traditionally served rare, but we won’t judge if you ask for medium. (Not too much, anyway.)
Castagnaccio is a traditional chestnut cake made just with chestnut flour and water, It may also contain raisins, pine nuts and walnuts. The recipe changes from area to area, from family to family, as befits a very traditional recipe. It is naturally gluten free and lactose free, and thanks to the chestnut flour it contains no sugar. The cake is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with some rosemary. Much like the Tuscan people, you simply cannot pass a bakery without ordering a slice of castagnaccio.