Italians like their recipes and ingredients to have an origin. Knowing where something comes from give a sense of tradition and authority very important in Italian cuisine. Thus salsa amatriciana comes from the town of Amatrice, parmigiano-reggiano, is named for the twin provinces of Parma and Reggio d’Emilia, and risotto alla Milanese, comes from the city of Venice. OK, I’m joking there since it obviously comes from Milan but you get the point.
Summer in Italy is a time for festivals. Up and down the peninsula, the sun brings communities out of their houses to join together in celebration of the many fine things Italian culture has to offer. How and what they celebrate is as varied as Italian cuisine, and just as regional. In the south of Italy, many of the festivals centre around the church, with saintly statues carried carefully through the streets to ancient music, usually culminating in massive firework displays. The streets themselves become like churches, filled with flowers, brocades, and more statues, bringing the inside out in an expression of faith.
Tuscany has great food but also amazing art. This is the first in a series of short posts highlighting some of these Tuscan Treasures.