Maremma Food & Wine
The Maremma gastronomic tradition has no noble origins, based on the economic possibilities of people who lived in isolated, difficult areas in the mountains or in marshy zones. And yet, housewives managed to put nourishing food on the table: mainly oil, ricotta, herbs picked in the fields and, above all, bread.
Among the typical food products, fresh cheeses as ricotta and pecorino, very good meat, fresh cold cuts such as salami, and the famous white wine “Bianco di Pitigliano” deserve particular mention.
Some of the local products have been awarded with the Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) like the Sorano beans, which can be distinguished in two different typologies: white beans, flat-shaped, and red beans, almost cylindrical in shape, with more consistent integument. They are harvested from the plants by hand and kept to dry in the sun for 3-4 days. Both pulse varieties are preserved using ground pepper, valerian roots, and bay leaves. Final products are sold in containers showing the IGP brand on their labels along with the indication of their white or red varieties
Pecorino is a type of cheese wide-spread in the whole of Maremma. Its production is nowadays becoming more and more important. There are various types of pecorino: fresh pecorino is usually used in salads or on bruschetta with extra virgin olive oil, accompanied with delicate white wine; seasoned pecorino, which is tastier and spicier, is excellent in combination with Tuscan hams and salami and a full-bodied red wine with an intense, fruity aroma. Another excellent combination, perhaps originated in the Middle Ages, is pecorino with honey. Today it’s widely used in restaurants: acacia honey on fresh pecorino and chestnut honey with seasoned pecorino.
Mount Amiata mushrooms can always be found in the woods of this geographical area. Mushrooming is a centuries-old tradition for the people living within this territory. Today, this area also boosts a number of specialized companies processing this food, which is also used to make many traditional local dishes. Amiata mushrooms are IGP-branded (Protected Geographical Indication) since their features are strictly linked to the territory where they are picked and processed. A number of feasts and festivals have also been set up to valorise their quality, such as the Amiata Mushroom Feast (Sagra del Fungo Amiatino) which is held in Bagnolo, within the municipality of Santa Fiora, and during which visitors can taste typical local dishes such as the well-known local mushroom soup.
The Maremma offers a wide range of wines too: Red, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riserva, Rosé, White, Vermentino and Vin Santo. Most of these are well-suited for accompanying typical Maremma cuisine from fish to thin and thick soups, from mushrooms to game and cheeses, and even sweets.