At the table in Pistoia

At the table in PistoiaPolicarpo Pertrocchi, the pistoian of Cireglio castle and the famous author, once said that the kitchen of the earth was one of the mountains and of the people, they used to carry their soup, their chestnuts and their polenta to Maremma to meet the coal men. Leaving in November and returning on the 24th of June, for San Giovanni. In Maremma, they call it “Lombardi”. They were coal men and cutters, scorzini and the people who tore the bark off the trees, called ‘the sugherai’. Singing “Make me a little more heavy”.They didnt eat much, unless they managed to catch animals in their traps. An old coalman once said: “It is good to fry slices of wild boar in water, serve the soup with dry bread and make it in salted water which has been cooking on a low heat. However, for the rest of the year, the polenta and chestnuts are our daily meals”.

Speaking of a Pistoian kitchen, today, is inappropriate. We must differentiate the difference between the Appennino of Pistoia, which remained for centuries, hidden by Florence until 1927 when it was finally closed in the province of Giglio.

A year later in the division of Florence, in 1928, it obtained 10 common lucchesi. If we start our journey from Porrettana, calling in at Pistoia and continuing on to Val di Nievole, we are passing through 3 diverse worlds, having known three different cultures, all poor ones, with Pistoia included (in the cities they have never reached the tradition of allowing men in the kitchen) however rich of pride and substance they are. This is indicated in the gastronomic character of Pistoia as they don’t have any particular traditional dishes. Florence has la Ribollita, Prato has il sedano ripieno, Lucca il farro, Lunigiana i testaroli, Pisa le cee, Livorno il cacciucco. And Pistoia? Has nothing in comparison. However, there is one pistoian product which has become famous: i brigidini.

Recipes kindly supplied by Il Tirreno

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