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Food tour among the flavors of Lucca

The experience is one that leaves its mark. Before leaving, check that you have not forgotten anything: pen and paper, curiosity and a great desire to dive into the typical flavors of Lucca.

Has your mouth watered? Well, let's go.


First courses, whoever gets off to a good start is half the battle

“Tordelli”, not “tortelli”: let's be clear, no derogation is allowed for the name of one of the main specialties of Lucca's recipes. Tordelli are made with meat-filled pasta, expertly arranged in a semicircle. Legend has it that this dish was prepared on Monday, with leftovers from Sunday.

To these were added eggs, mortadella, cheese, chard and soaked bread. Now as then, the Tordelli from Lucca are accompanied by the classic meat sauce.

Try the spelled soup and nothing will be the same again. It will change your conception of taste, it will upset your concept of "good". Much of the credit goes to him, the protagonist of the dish: spelled. Recognized in 1996 with the IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) mark, it is the oldest cereal that has survived to this day.

In Garfagnana the cultivation takes place between October and November, strictly between 300 and 1000 meters high; the harvest takes place in summer instead. We then proceed to the so-called “brillatura”, a refining process that deprives the spelled of the most impure parts.

Borlotti beans, peeled tomatoes, cabbage and a pinch of bacon are added to the recipe. The preparation ends with a round of olive oil from the hills around Lucca. The curtain rises, the show can begin.

What about the "Matuffi"? The name probably won't suggest anything to you. You know the yellow polenta, the one a little softer than the traditional one?

Here, this is the base of the dish. The preparation alternates layers of meat sauce or, alternatively, mushrooms and parmesan. Needless to say, the classic polenta used also comes from the Garfagnana area: it is that of ottofile Formenton corn.


Second courses, the dance of flavors continues

It is the turn of the Rovellina alla Lucchese. You will be served some slices of beef, breaded and fried, then ricotta in tomato sauce and enriched with capers.

You know when they say "nothing is thrown away from the pig"? Here is the Biroldo. This salami of humble origins is made from various pig waste, with the addition of some spices to the mixture.

The potato bread, also typical of the Garfagnana area, will accompany you on this succulent journey. The bread is prepared by local workers by adding 10%/15% of boiled potatoes, semolina, mince and a pinch of sea salt.


Here come the desserts, or the grand finale

The most famous dessert of Lucca was born from the ennobling of the bread, namely Buccellato. This simple and tasty dessert is made from a very soft sweet dough, rich in raisins and aniseed. Buccellato does not have a codified and recognized recipe: everyone prepares it in their own way and each pastry shop believes they are keeping its secret.

The Erbi cake is welcome, the base of which is made from a round-shaped shortcrust pastry baked in the oven. The main ingredient, chard, blends perfectly with candied fruit, raisins, pine nuts and a sprinkling of cheese.

Sweet and salty mix perfectly. Lunch could end here, but it would be a real disappointment to healthy Lucca without having tasted the Castagnaccio. This chestnut flour cake - now exported to most of Italy but never made like the original one - refers to the ancient flavors and aromas of the past.


If this tour has left you even more with your mouth watering, it is time to book a stay at the Hotel Ilaria and get lost among the taverns of the city - faithful keepers of the typical flavors of Lucca - in which to live a sensory experience. complete and taste all the dishes described above.


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