Planning a trip to Italy and making a list of all of the Tuscan food you plan to try? My mom, sister and brother all live in Versilia, a coastal region of Tuscany. We visit all the time and one of our absolute favorite things to do is to eat our way around the region. After tasting pretty much everything on offer, we put together this list of the 10 foods you must try in Tuscany!
If you have been asking yourself “what is the food like in Italy?”, keep reading… We have spent a lot of time in Versilia with my family recently and this post will focus more on the food you will find in this beautiful area of Tuscany.
1. Ice cream stuffed donut
Does this really need an explanation? This particular ice cream donut comes from an ice cream store in Viareggio called “Gatto Nero”. When you order a bombolone con gelato, your freshly prepared donut arrives in a small flying planes which drops it into a box of sugar. The owner runs the stand, will pick up your donut and fill it with as any flavors of ice cream as you’d like. (Bonus : when eating in Italy, ordering 6 or even 7 ice cream flavors at a time is not even considered excessive. Our kind of country for sure!)
2. Fresh bufala salad
Yum, yum, yum! Have you tried bufala cheese? It has risen in popularity in recent years so you can find it on some menus around the world. I was eating it before it became popular at restaurants in Tuscany and even in my mom’s home. It is available to buy in local cheese shops all over Italy and often served on salads and pizzas in restaurants. (Although bufala is produced in Southern Italy, it is abundant all over Italy and a part of many dishes in Versilia.)
3. Spaghetti al mare (or seafood spaghetti)
If you are a seafood lover (like us!), you will definitely need to try this scrumptious spaghetti al mare. One of the tastiest Tuscan foods!
4. Torta della nonna
Literally “grandma’s tarte” – this soft, cream-filled tart will fulfill all of your Italian food dreams. It is topped with crunchy pinenuts and a generous dusters of confectioner’s sugar.
5. Pesto Genovese
Ah pesto. Who doesn’t love it? If you’re a fan, make sure to ask for authentic “pesto Genovese” when dining in Tuscany. Real, authentic pesto is one of the finest Tuscan ingredients.
Related recipe : Refreshing Coriander Pesto
6. Tuscan carbonara
Hugo is a HUGE spaghetti carbonara fan! He orders it in restaurants and makes it at home. A Tuscan carbonara differs from a classic carbonara in that
We took this photo in our of our favorite Tuscan towns – Pietrasanta. This restaurant used fusilli pasta, rather than the traditional spaghetti for their carbonara recipe.
It was a hit! Hugo said it was the best carbonara he had ever tasted and declared it one of his favorite Tuscan food specialities.
7. Spaghetti alle vongole
I have a confession to make : I’ve dreamt about this pasta. I’m not even kidding! It’s one of my absolute favorite traditional Tuscan dishes. I know I’ve been away from Italy for too long if I start missing spaghetti alle vongole so badly that I start dreaming about these perfectly cooked, garlic-y and buttery clams.
If you add just ONE food item from this post to your bucketlist, please make it this spaghetti and clams.
8. Budini di riso
What is Tuscany famous for? In my mind, it should be the tastiest breakfast/dessert of them all : the rice budino. A crunchy outer shortbread crust is filled with a creamy rice pudding like custard. Tuscan food at its absolute best.
Related reading : The One Thing You Must Eat For Breakfast in Italy
9. Gelato – especially yogurt and pinenut flavors
What is Italy best known for? Gelato!
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you didn’t have gelato on your list of foods to try in Italy. Including it in this list of 12 foods you must try in Tuscany was a no brainer.
The real recommendation is the flavors. Yogurt is our favorite flavor – Hugo and both absolutely love it more than all of the other flavors. A definite must-try! We had never seen pinenut gelato outside of Italy and definitely recommend you try it. It is unusual, typically Tuscan and delicious. (As you can see in the photo, we decided to throw so dark chocolate in there too and we were not disappointed. You won’t be either.)
10. Marinated octopus
Hugo and I both love creepy crawlies in the sea, proved by the fact that we squeal with delight when eating sea snails, oysters and more! If you love tasting creatures of the sea as much as we do, you will love Tuscan marinated octopus. My mom lives in Tuscany, by the sea, in Viareggio, so there is more of a focus on delicious, fresh, local seafood that in if you are in a more rural part of Tuscany. If you see it on a menu while visiting, make it a priority to taste it.
Do you have other foods You Must Try in Tuscany to add to our list? Tell us in the comments below!
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