Tuscan Cuisine is known today as a vibrant cornerstone of Italian culture and food heritage. Tuscany is a region located in the central area of Italy and is known for its rolling landscapes. Some of the best-known cities in Tuscany are Florence, Pisa, Siena, and San Gimignano.
Tuscan cuisine has ancient origins, dating all the way back to the Etruscan people at around 800 BC. They were initially greatly influenced by both the Greeks and then in later years Rome. The region came into its own during the enlightenment years of the Renaissance, with the likes of such masters as Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, and Raphael. Here, great master chefs were brought into the noble courts and expected to prepare very elaborate and original dishes which went on to have influenced many other European cuisines.
Ancient Tuscans took a liking to a less elaborate and more simple type of dish, a more affordable cuisine. Their food was simple but very complex, as they experimented and developed many techniques that are used the world over, even to this day!
With the availability of beans, barley, fruits, vegetables, wine, and olive oil along with raised livestock as sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle the Tuscan diet was starting to take shape. This would be a style of cooking based on the abundance of readily available foods and not on the amount of wealth the people had.
Game meats are particularly popular in Tuscany, with such animals as wild boar, rabbit, deer, and pheasant. These meats are often roasted and served over pappardelle – are large, broad, flat pasta, similar to fettuccine. Tuscany’s simple and fresh presentations are so inspiring with the highlight of garlic, basil, and other herbs, simple, flavorful, and unforgettable.