The most famous product of the Chianti territory is definitely wine, which has been designated in the seventies with the DOP status (protected designation of origin).
The Classic Chianti Wine D.O.C.G. is undoubtedly one of the best wines of the world, accompanying all the typical products of the Tuscany cuisine.
The production of olive oil in Chianti might be less famous than the wine production, but certainly not less relevant. Particularly worthy of note is the Classic Chianti Olive Oil DOP. This quality comes from different varieties of olives, such as Moraiolo, Frantoio, Leccino and Correggilo, all produced in the territory of Gaiole in Chianti. One of the simplest but tastiest dishes of the Tuscany cuisine is the “fettunta”, that is, bread and oil. It’s just a slice of bread, cooked in a wood fired oven or grilled, and seasoned with a little bit of first press oil (olio nuovo), which is the one coming from the first press, still intensely green and sparkling. ("Tu proverai sì come sa di sale lo pane altrui, e come è duro calle lo scendere e 'l salir per l'altrui scale.." Divine Comedy-Paradise , canticle XVII). With second press oil usually a little bit of salt must be added, or you can make a bruschetta, crusty bread grilled,with garlic, salt and oil.
The fettunta, which can be served as hors d’oeuvre both at lunch or dinner, or even as a snack, is the golden dish of the peasant feasts dedicated to harvest-time, but it also accompanies the Tuscan hors d'oeuvre in restaurants and trattorias.
Consortium of Chianti Classico Extravirgin Olive Oil
The Consortium of Chianti Classico Extravirgin Olive Oil Terre del Gallo Nero has been founded recently in order to improve and protect the quality of this product and spread the mark throughout the world.
This Consortium includes over 100 firms that own more than 1000 acres of olive-groves as a whole planted with 320000 olives trees.
The prestigious mark of the Consortium "Terre del Gallo Nero" guarantees the quality, genuineness
And typicalness of the product. In fact, olives are pressed only in oil-mills tested by the Consortium itself. The olive oil samples must be chemically analized and tasted by two special Commissions; if there are positive results, the olive oil can be bottled.
Many tests are made also after and consist in taking some samples of bottles already packed in order to give a further reassurance of the quality. Now everybody understands why the extravirgin olive oil “Terre del Gallo Nero” reaches high levels of quality: it is because it has been carefully selected, and because of its very natural savour and very low acidity.
Sausages and Sliced products
Sausages and all sliced products derived from pork belong to popular cuisine. Absolutely not to miss is the famous lard (the most appreciated is the Lard of Colonnata, produced near the marble quarries of Carrara, but the Chianti Lard is also worthy of note).
Another typical product is ham (very tasty in Tuscany), Buristo (sweet blood pudding, also called sanguinaccio); finocchiona (a quality of sausage seasoned with fennel); beacon and soprassata (brawn) .
Very appreciated is also the native swine breed called Cinta Senese, the only one to survive extinction, which is considered today one of the finest races. Its name derives from the characteristic black hair of the pig, which has a white stripe surrounding the whole body like a belt.
The Florentine Steak
Florentine steak isn’t just a dish, but a philosophy. Technically speaking, the steak must derive from beef meat, with the bone forming a letter T. The peculiarity of this steak is the cut, at least 5 cm thick, so that the meat never result too cooked. The Florentine steak must be grilled on each side for a few minutes, so that the meat remains soft and rare. It can be eaten alone, or accompanied by a sauce made with oil, balsamic vinegar and rosemary. The Florentine steak can be also combined with grilled sausages and vegetables. In restaurants it is mainly served alone, but if you ask for a well-done steak, expect a black look from the waiter!