Siena Food & Wine
Food is yet another pleasure offered by this exquisite city. Siena's cuisine is made of impeccably fresh ingredients, kept simple and cooked with time and care. It would be very difficult to find fault with foods that are cooked with so much attention. What could be more delightful then a thick, juicy steak cooked over an open fire from the special Chianina breed of cattle, a plate of handmade pici, thick large-size spaghetti, an exclusive of Siena, served with a rich sauce, crostini neri, fagioli all'uccelletto, pasta e fagioli, some of the finest extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over fresh-from-the-garden vegetables, farm-fresh pecorino cheese, truffles and tuscan salami.
Other specialties are Ciaccina, their special variation on pizza, and orpici, pici topped with a fresh tomato sauce made with ground pork, pancetta, sausages and chicken breast then cooked with Brunello wine.
But the most special of all are the pastries they love to create. Sweets like panforte, a dense concentration of honey, almonds, and citron once made for the crusaders, and ricciarelli, soft almond cookies with powdered vanilla on top, special occasion cake creations several feet high, topped with crystallized fruit, fill the bakery shop windows for passers-by to admire and revelers to savor.
There is a saying; "un pranzo senza vino e come un giorno senza sole"; a lunch without wine is like a day without sunshine. And Chianti tops the list of favorites and most popular. With its access to the green hills and sun-drenched valley of the Chianti region Siena enjoys an uninterrupted expanse of vineyards.
It is here that the most favored Chianti wine is made. Symbolized by the black rooster, the sign of the military alliance formed in the Middle Ages by the small countryside towns against invading French and Spaniards, the rooster today continues to adorn the bottles of the Chianti from this region as authentic.
The Chianti DOCG designation applies to all Chianti wines other than those made from grapes grown in the Chianti Classico area. Chianti Superiore is another designation within the Chianti DOCG, it applies to wines made from grapes grown within the provinces of Firenze or Siena, but not within the Chianti Classico area.
Italian immigrants were the first to export this wine in straw-covered from their sun-drenched Tuscany region, establishing an image and symbol that says "Chianti" all over the world. It is the wine produced in the largest quantity.