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What typical specialties you should taste in Montepulciano and Val di Chiana

26 Oktober 2020

If you have already been to Montepulciano, you probably know one of the strong points of this town: the food and wine tradition and the habit of eating healthy.

If you haven’t yet visited the Val di Chiana Senese, you will certainly have the opportunity to try the most famous local specialties, which we also recommended in the post Typical dishes of Montepulciano.

Here we are still talking about traditions, peculiarities, food products that you can taste during a stay in our hotel. As for the wines, we suggest you to book the guided tastings directly at Borgo Tre Rose, where you can discover the wines of our Estate and appreciates the flavors of Vino Nobile DOCG and Rosso di Montepulciano DOC.

This area is unique because it is a contact point between Val di Chiana Senese and Val d’Orcia, between this part of Tuscany and Umbria, located a few kilometers away; but also with Lazio, which is quite close.

The luck of Montepulciano is given, mostly, by the conformation of the land, which favors all types of valuable crops. In fact, the vine and the olive tree are the typical elements of the landscape and among the local specialties, intended as wine and extra virgin olive oil.

Pici all’aglione, the most famous Montepulciano homemade pasta

Pici pasta tipica di Montepulciano

Describing “pici” means telling a flavor, recalling a tradition and imagining a story: homemade pasta is a classic of peasant cuisine, and pici are a simple mixture of water and flour that owe their name to the word „appiciare“, that is to give an irregular shape to this type of dough, kneading the thin threads with the palm of the hand.

Regarding the sauce suitable for pici, you could try them with meat sauce (ragù, in Italian), with a tomato sauce and a lot of garlic (the so-called „aglione“) or, respecting the local tradition, with crumbs, bread sautéed in oil of olive and made crunchy.To taste them, as well as in the Borgo Tre Rose restaurant, you could buy pici at the Podere Tanagatta store, in via del Poliziano 10, or take a walk in the center where there are many shops selling this and other specialties, or go to the weekly markets of Montepulciano, every Thursday, in Piazza Nenni and every Saturday, in Piazzetta delle Calle and in Stazione Via Roma.

specialità di Montepulciano

The other food specialties of Montepulciano

In the local cuisine there are many vegetarian dishes (soups, mushrooms, cheeses, omelettes, pappa al pomodoro), but undoubtedly meat is also very important.

Specifically, pork, the Cinta Senese, a pig breed raised in the wild that has obtained the DOP recognition and the Chianina meat, typical of Val di Chiana, a specialty known for more than 2000 years, excellent for the preparation of steaks cooked on the grill.

The other dishes we suggest trying are the pappardelle pasta with wild boar sauce and stew. Panzanella is made with stale bread, a salad dressed with abundant oil and enriched with aromas such as onion, basil, or ribollita soup, made with slices of bread sprinkled with bean broth.

We dedicated a post to the most famous cheese of the area, the Pecorino di Pienza, as it is an excellence that everyone should taste and is a great side dish for an appetizer.

One more thing you should know about Tuscan bread: it’s without salt, a custom that dates back to the XII century when, due to the rivalry between Pisa and Florence; the Pisans blocked the salt trade, and since then the most famous Tuscan bread it is the one without salt, an essential ingredient of many recipes.

Dante remembered the difference in the taste of bread, also writing about it in the Divine Comedy, “How does other people’s bread taste like salt…”!

Knowing the typical dishes of Val di Chiana and Montepulciano means taking a journey through the history of these places, so enchanting as to attract demanding travelers, curious explorers and tourists who are not satisfied by the usual destinations.

Pecorino Pienza specialità tipica toscana

Credits Pecorino Pienza: ho visto nina volare from Italy, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


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