THE WONDERS OF LOCAL CUISINE, INTRODUCTION

Audio File length: 2.28
English / USA Language: English / USA

 

 

Hi, my name’s James, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to the wonderful flavors of Pisa.

 

In Pisa, in addition to many traditional Italian and Tuscan dishes, you’ll have the chance to try a few that are typical local specialties.

 

The best-known local dish is pasta e ceci, a short pasta variety cooked in a purée of chickpeas and tomato concentrate, flavored with rosemary, while the city’s most typical specialty is the famous zuppa alla pisana, a soup made with Tuscan kale and cannellini beans.

You might also like to try another dish on many local menus, trenette alla renaiola, once the staple diet of the boatmen who transported sand – which used to be called rena – along the Arno. This is a long variety of pasta served with garlic, oil, chili pepper, turnip greens and herrings, which were caught in the river.

Stoccafisso, dried salted cod, which already in ancient times arrived by ship in the port of the city, is another typical fish dish enjoyed in Pisa. It is cooked plain, with the addition of boiled potatoes.

 

Just a few kilometers from Pisa there are a number of large hunting estates, such as the Massaciuccoli park, where Giacomo Puccini once hunted, and roast game, especially pheasant, is perhaps the most typical main course of Pisa, rivalled only by

ossobuco accompanied by fagioli all’uccelletto, a characteristic Tuscan recipe made with white beans, tomato and sage. If you fancy trying something stronger, you might enjoy trippa alla pisana: veal tripe cooked with streaky bacon.

 

A favorite with the younger locals actually dates back to the Stone Age: it’s called cecìna, a thin, very soft kind of piadina made with water, chickpea flour and olive oil. I highly recommend it.

 

When it comes to desserts, Pisa’s specialty par excellence is Torta coi Bischeri, a shortcrust pastry tart with a filling made with rice, pine-nuts, raisins and chocolate. You’ll recognize it thanks to the characteristic pastry tips the crust is decorated with.

Whatever you have for lunch or dinner in Pisa, however, it won’t be complete without a serving of cantucci, the typical dry almond biscuits, dipped in vinsanto, a dessert wine.

 

An interesting fact: in Pisa, when you say an argument has ended with “cantucci e vino”, it means it has come to an amicable conclusion...

 

Buon appetito!

 

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