Arista, or pork loin, is one of the most typical Sunday roasts here in Tuscany. It can be served with or without the bone, roasted in the oven or on the stove top.
It has a fascinating legend when it comes to its name. Pellegrino Artusi tells us that this dish was named arista in the 15th century, during the ecumenical council in Florence.
Cosimo il Vecchio, the patriarch of the Medici family, offered a banquet to the Greek delegation representing the Orthodox church. This roasted pork loin was served and a Greek cardinal exclaimed ariston! the best! From that moment on, the pork loin in Tuscany is known simply as arista.
This is probably just a legend, as there are documents attesting the use of arista to describe the pork loin even at the end of the XIII century.