Sweets and Desserts

Cheese- il Formaggio

The one true Tuscan cheese is pecorino made with ewe’s milk. The sheep that you see grazing are more often than not kept for their milk instead of wool or meat. Fresh ricotta, made from whey, is also very popular here in Tuscany and should be eaten with black pepper and a few drops of olive oil on top.

Fruit- la Frutta

Cherries, apricots, and peaches are all readily availble in the summer, grapes in the late summer and apples and pears in the early autumn. Among the best savoury/sweet dishes to try, include: il cacio con le pere (cheese with pears), i fichi con il salame (figs with salami), melone, or popone, con prosciutto (melon and cured ham).

Cake- il Dolce

Although Tuscans are not great sweets and desserts eaters, they do like to round off meals with a glass of dry raisin wine called Vin Santo into which they dip Cantucci, little dry biscuits packed with almonds. Other treats include panforte, a type of dried fruit cake, schiacciata alla fiorentina, (a special Florentine treat)- a sponge cake, covered with icing or sometimes filled with whipped cream, biscottini di prato , ricciarelli, almond biscuits from Siena and i cenci, triangular shaped pastries. Chestnut trees are plentiful in the mountainous area of the regions, so Tuscans have perfected the best recipes in which to use them, one such example is , a chestnut flour cake, one of the most traditional Florentine cakes.

N.B. this schiacciata is not to be confused with a savoury dish called schiacciata salata all’olio.

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