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Here are some of the typical Tuscan and Florentine cakes that can be found in pastry shops and bakeries, at certain times of year. This is due to the fact that most of the typical Tuscan cakes are linked to holiday periods and religious feasts.

gastronomia schiacciata alla fiorentina

Starting from carnival, in Florence people enjoy the schiacciata alla fiorentina ( a sweet flatbread), which today is often stuffed with whipped cream or custard cream (or with both, mixed together).

Then, there is a period of abstinence: Lent (40 days of penance preceding Easter), during which cakes are reduced to a minimum. Simple recipes are prepared without eggs and with a small amount of sugar: the quaresimali (cookies shaped like alphabet letters), the buccellato cake of Lucca and the pandiramerino (a soft, sweet bun made of bread dough, muscat raisins and rosemary), flavoured with rosemary and typical of Holy Thursday.

Then, there is a short tasty break with St. Joseph’s fritters. With Easter, the forced abstinence ended and people could use all the eggs set aside during the days of prohibition, making leavened cakes of any kind: schiacciate (flat bread), semolina and rice cakes.

In autumn, after harvesting, people can find the delicious schiacciata con l'uva (sweet, flat bread with raisins) and, especially in the Chianti area, people make the "ficattola", a sort of flat bread with oil, topped with fresh figs and

 Then, with the new chestnut flour people make castagnacci (flat chestnut-flour cakes), chestnut puddings and cakes. On the feast of All Saints, people used to enjoy the Pan co' Santi (sweet bread with raisins and walnuts) until reaching Christmas with the triumph of the cakes from Siena: cavallucci (pastries made with anise, almonds, candied fruits and flour), ricciarelli (hand-made cakes with almonds, sugar, honey and egg whites with a hint of candied orange), panpepato (or peppered bread, a spicy cake made with various ingredients including candied fruits, almonds, honey and sugar) and panforte (a cake made using candied fruits, sweet almonds, hazelnuts, spices, honey and flour).

As far as ice-cream cakes are concerned, don’t miss the zuccotto, an old semifreddo which was supposedly created by Buontalenti, an ice-creams and sorbet lover (texts taken from "Il grande libro della vera cucina Toscana (the great book of the real Tuscan cuisine)” by Paolo Petroni).

 

Published: 1/7/2014

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