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Traditional gastronomic specialties

Tuscany is full of art, nature and gastronomic specialties strongly linked to the territory. At Christmas this triumph of dishes and flavors arrives on the tables with all its opulence and reflects the tastiest ancient recipes.

Traditionally, as the old proverbs tell us, the celebrations begin with the dinner on 23 December called “the dinner of 7 dinners” because of its abundance. It then continues with the Vigil, which does not include meat, up to the lunch on the 25th and then to that of Santo Stefano, also known as the “lunch of leftovers”. The party menus may seem like a real tour de force but above all they are an opportunity to sit at the table with family and closest friends.

So let’s see what we can expect for the holidays from this regional cuisine.

Starting from the appetizers, there are two essential ones: the crostini, strictly made with Tuscan bread, with fegatini (chicken livers) and cold cuts of ham and finocchiona (typical salami with fennel seeds). Each mother has her own special recipe for fegatini croutons: there are those who soak the bread in the broth and those who add other offal such as spleen to the pate.

The first course includes cappelletti in capon broth. Thanks to the cold, it is a rich dish that the farmers could only afford at Christmas. If we move towards the north of Tuscany we can find the dry variant of stuffed pasta, the tordelli al ragù, just as delicious.

Usually the second courses are more than one and obviously these are also based on meat. What you can’t miss is the roast pork loin with rosemary and sage, in the past it was only eaten during the holidays, served with its cooking sauce. The other course is usually a roast chicken served with potatoes which, as always, will never be enough.

For dessert, in addition to the classic panettone or pandoro, there are local sweets and dried fruit. Panforte, typical of the province of Siena, ricciarelli, biscuits made with almonds and sugar and cantucci to be dipped in vinsanto.

So all that remains is to sit at the table and spend a Merry Christmas in the company of the affection of our loved ones. Enjoy your meal!