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The Lucca cooking: an amazing universe of flavours

Lucca and its surroundings have long been lands of farmers and artisans, lands of values and traditions. From those existences, used to days in the fields and the slow rhythms of the seasons, are born some of the typical dishes we still love.

It is well known that simple things are often the best ones, as for Lucca specialties. Between a walk on the ancient walls and a coffee break in Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, let yourself be guided by the sense of smell.

Follow the fragrances coming from food shops, typical restaurants and pastry shops and discover the dishes of Lucca cooking ... they will seduce you at the first taste.

 

Poor ingredients, but rich in taste

 

From a generous land like Tuscany, the housewives of the past and our grandmothers drew fully: the first fruits of the vegetable garden, the nourishing legumes, the ancient cereals, the oil and the genuine wine.

So, it is not surprising that some of the most popular recipes in Lucca are soups or preparations based on vegetables and cereals. We strongly recommend you trying the farinata: a dish with borlotti beans, black cabbage, lard, tomato and corn flour. A real cuddle, especially on the coldest days or when you look for intense flavours.

In Lucca you will find many of such recipes, let’s say a kind of comfort food: just think of the Lucca soup, the farro soup or mixed vegetable pies, in which borlotti beans cannot miss. Together with legumes and vegetables, our tradition also includes meat or game specialties.

Among the first courses we recommend the tordelli, a bigger fresh pasta than the classic tortelli and filled with beef, pork and bread softened in broth. Among the main courses, the rovelline lucchesi bring back in time, when nothing was thrown away if it could satisfy the appetites after long working days. It is said that these slices of beef, fried and dipped in a tomato sauce and spices, were born as a poor dish, but nowaday are one of the most appreciated specialties in Lucca and surroundings.

 

Sweet temptations from tradition

 

Like savory recipes, even our typical desserts stand out for their authentic taste and simple ingredients. As in all Tuscany, in fall, we love to end lunch with a slice - or two! - of castagnaccio, based on chestnut flour and enriched with pine nuts, orange peel, shelled walnuts, raisins, rosemary and oil.

However, the sweet that really describes Lucca is the buccellato, so m\uch so that a famous proverb tells "Whoever comes to Lucca and does not eat buccellato is like he never was there". And we know, in popular sayings there is always a fund of truth.

The buccellato, created in 1881, is a sort of anise-flavoured bread, with an unexpected fragrance and softness. The typical shape is the donut, but it can be also elongated, and, although the recipe changes from one family to another, the ingredients are more or less the same: flour, sugar, brewer's yeast, milk, raisins, anise seeds, butter, eggs. To taste one of the best in Lucca, take a nice walk and reach the Pasticceria Taddeucci, in Piazza San Michele 34.

As the buccellato, the vegetable pie is a very special dessert, much appreciated by Lucca people and tourists. You could expect a salty taste, but actually it is pleasantly sweet. A balanced combination of different notes. The fundamental ingredients are chards, bread, pine nuts, raisins, spices and sugar.

Fancy to taste such an unusual dessert? Look for it in the most famous pastry shops in Lucca, like the Pinelli, in via Beccheria 28, specialised in this preparation.

 

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