Siena. Land of rolling hills and ancient flavours, history, tradition, medieval villages and hints of the Renaissance. If you have decided to spend your holidays here, you will be interested in learning about its typical products, ingredients and traditional preparations In a few words, what to eat in the territory of Siena.
That's why we come to help you, taking you with us on this short tour of typical cuisine along the Crete Senesi.
What to buy in Siena
Typical products to buy
In our journey among the lands of Siena, it is the case to visit some shops of typical products. There are many specialties to buy that'll make you feel the taste and flavor of Tuscany even when you'll be far away from here. It is common to bring home the typical dessert, the panforte senese, but in these parts are also well competent for what regards cheeses and cold cuts.
In the first case, among the products of excellence, we find a real delicacy, the Pecorino of Pienza. The most famous of the dairy preparations of the area and the Sienese pecorino cheese, excellent to taste with honey. If you can buy it right in Pienza, in the beautiful Val d'Orcia, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy a trip to a truly enchanting place.
Among the cold cuts, the capocollo and finocchiona of Cinta Senese are characteristic. For something even more decisive, try the buristo: a large pork sausage, definitely substantial, flavoured with raisins and pine nuts.
Specialties of Siena a the Agriturismo La Fonte
Siena first courses
The Siena pici
Siena first courses are very tasty, and find a worthy condiment in pork and wild boar ragouts. The most typical Sienese pasta are the pici, rustic spaghetti made by hand with water, flour and oil. A typical Sienese recipe with this pasta are the pici all'aglione. Aglione is a variety of garlic from the Valdichiana, which is used to make sautéed vegetables, along with fresh tomato and white wine, creating an excellent and characteristic condiment.
Another specialty, very particular, are the gnudi senesi. Gnudi, that means 'naked'. Some particular ravioli, without any pasta to wrap them. They are prepared with spinach, or traditionally with chard, borage and nettle, together with ricotta and eggs, to create meatballs to be served with tomato sauce. Then, the Sienese soup. A sort of Florentine ribollita, with black cabbage, Tuscan 'foolish' bread (without salt), and cannellino bean, a typical crop of the Sienese territory.
Sienese second courses
If you love meat, Tuscany and the province of Siena are made for you. Here, a great specialty in grilling and an excellent raw material make the second courses very special. Among the many meats, in Siena and its surroundings you can find the Chianina breed, a renowned bovine quality that is the basis of the famous Florentine T-bone steak. In Siena it is the meat par excellence that is served in restaurants and trattorias.
Traditional Sienese recipes at the Agriturismo Il Greppo
If you want to taste something even more characteristic, then you will have to go towards the Cinta Senese. This is a highly appreciated pig breed, bred in these lands since ancient times, and today recognized as a point of excellence of the territory. What is instead a real traditional Sienese second course is the Scottiglia. A classic poor recipe that combines lamb, rabbit, chicken and pork in a single course, cooked in a casserole and flavoured with red wine.
Ricciarelli, cantucci and panforte
At the end of the meal, it's time for dessert. And it is here that Siena reveals its most original soul. The panforte, first of all, the symbol of Sienese gastronomy, prepared with flour, sugar, candied orange and citron, honey, cinnamon and vanilla. A rich and very tasty dessert.
Just as famous as panforte are the cantucci, the typical biscuits with almonds, which find their perfect marriage in the Vinsanto. Also from Siena are the ricciarelli biscuits, composed of almond paste and whitened with icing sugar. In the end, during fall you should try the Pan co' Santi. A bread traditionally prepared in November, just for the Feast of All Saints' Day. Fragrant, accompanied by the taste of walnuts and raisins, to eat alone or to accompany other dishes, such as roast meat.
If you've come all the way to Tuscany, it's likely you'll want to taste its famous wines. Siena is also a land of Chianti, to be appreciated in its red wnie Colli Senesi. As well as the production area of Brunello di Montalcino, one of the finest Italian wines.
Montepulciano, on the other hand, is the land of origin of Vino Nobile, another excellent red wine from the Sienese lands. If you prefer white wine, then you can try the Vernaccia, a full-bodied wine produced in the area of San Gimignano. Instead, to accompany the cantucci, the Vinsanto, a sweet fortified wine that traditionally goes well with the famous Sienese cantucci, as said before.
You can try all these delicacies in the many farmhouses with restaurant in Siena and its province. Unmistakable flavours, guardians of ancient traditions and perfect for adding even more flavour to your holiday along the Crete Senesi.