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Summer in Tuscany: top 5 food specialties

From Panzanella to spelt salad

No matter the season, in Tuscany you can always find fresh ravioli or a grilled T-bone steak. But if you are looking for something light, suitable for the hot temperatures of July and August here are 5 summer specialities you must try:

Panzanella [Photo credits: Andante con Gusto]
Panzanella [Photo credits: Andante con Gusto] 

Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad. The classic version contains only onion, tomatoes and basil all topped off with extra virgin olive oil and a bit of white wine vinegar.


Fried zucchini blossoms

Very fast, not at all light and truly impressive! According to the Roman tradition they must be filled with mozzarella and anchovies. In Tuscany we only clean and deep-fry them covered with a special batter made with flour, water and salt. Check out here the recipe for fried zucchini blossoms.

Zucchini flowers [Photo credits: Aurelio Candido]
Zucchini flowers [Photo credits: Zucchini flowers]


Scarpaccia zucchini pie

The Scarpaccia is a traditional pie from Versilia, made with zucchini, flour, eggs and milk. Tradition wants this pie to be baked with both salt or sugar. It is served in the beginning - in the middle or at the end of a meal and is a pleasant discovery at all times! In Viareggio you can find the sweet version, while in Camaiore it's made with salt: both versions are delicious and easy to make.

Spelt salad
Spelt salad
Spelt salad - Credit: Aurelio Barattini

Farro or spelt is a very ancient grain. You can find it in Tuscany in many winter soups and in spring and summer it's used to make delicious cold salads. Ingredients such as fish, onions, mozzarella, pesto, diced tomato, olives and herbs like basil are a perfect match for farro.

Arselle sautè
Arselle sautè
Arselle sautè - Credit: Heather Phillips

Arselle or telline are tiny clams found in some areas of coastal Tuscany, they are small but have a distinct flavor and if you’re patient enough to collect quite a few the resulting recipe will be unforgettable. Find out here the recipe for Arselle sautè.

Food and Wine