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A Guide to Tuscany Food and Drink
A little known fact about Tuscan cuisine is that the French learned how to cook from their Tuscan counterparts when it was imported by Catherine de' Medici into the court of Henry II. The Tuscan style of cooking is richly flavoured and wholesome. Here is a guide to the Tuscan food and drink.

The extreme simplicity of Tuscan cuisine is its strongest strength, as the flavours that emerge during the cooking process are vibrant and pure. Seasoning and sauces are used sparingly, mostly relying on staples like wine and olive oil. Tuscan olive oil is considered to be one of the best in the world, and there are a number of gradients available. The gradients are directly pertinent to acidity, and the acidity is gauged based upon the number of olives that are bruised before the pressing takes place.

Truffles also are extraordinarily popular in the Tuscan cuisine, and these elusive delicacies are all the more coveted because of their very scarcity. Most chefs would pay exorbitant amounts to get truffles before the wild pigs manage to locate them. There are two main kinds, black and white, and while both are rare, white truffles are near impossible to find; however Tuscany is fortunate to have quite a few areas where these grow in profusion.

The standard Italian meal is like a choreographed dance, where there are certain steps, and it is best not to vary from the set pattern. The first round is the appetizer, known as the antipasto. The first course, or the primo piatto, consists of either rice or pasta, and the second course, secondo piatto, comprises of meat and fish. A dessert or dolce is next, followed by a cup of espresso and a glass of grappa.

Italian wines are extremely sought after worldwide, and a true connoisseur of wines will appreciate the exquisite flavours that emerge from this region. A favourite with food is sparkling wine, known as spumante. One of the most popular is known as the Asti. Wine is considered much a part and parcel of the meal, and mostly decisions are limited to white or red. House wines are usually excellent, and only really special occasions call for something out of the ordinary.

Chianti is the quintessential Tuscan wine; it is smooth and versatile, producing a universally popular flavour. Another very famous variety of Tuscan wine is the Brunello di Montalcino, a heavy full-bodied wine that is best complimented with red meat.
About the Author
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Tuscany rentals in Italy and European holiday rentals.
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