All that culinary history should make you hungry. Fortunately, if it’s chestnut-based dishes you’re after, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The aforementioned milling takes place to create flour, of course, used as the base for many a dessert and dish.
Try polenta with a sweet, regional twist—here and in the rest of the Casentino, you’ll commonly find it made with chestnut flour. Make like a local and eat it alongside ricotta or sausage to make it richer. The autumnal castagnaccio cake is also popular, a chestnut dessert dense with rosemary, raisins, pine nuts and sometimes a pinch of orange peel.
First courses and mains are typical warm Tuscan comfort food. Opt for one of the bountiful bread-based soups, both born out of peasant tradition: minestra di pane, made with legumes, Tuscan kale, potatoes, unsalted bread and a variety of veggies, or acquacotta, similar but typically a bit more brothy. Ask locals for their opinions on how best to prepare either, and you’re sure to get a range of impassioned responses.
For something a little more rib-sticking, sausages are a go-to second.