When holidaying in Italy be sure to indulge in the array of desserts on offer which can be enjoyed any time of the day. From sweet wine, to creamy gelato, to chestnut cakes, experience the true ‘dolce vita’ in Tuscany. Don’t miss out on these five traditional Tuscan desserts!
Vin Santo and Cantucci
Often served at the end of a meal, Vin Santo (Saints Wine) is made by drying grapes at harvest time for several months before fermentation to pack in its sugary flavours. With a hint of apricot and honey to taste, it is served with local Cantucci biscuits which are dunked in the wine to soften their crunch.
Legend has it that gelato was invented in Renaissance Florence by Bernardo Buontalenti. So, what better place to try a cup or cone than in Tuscany. In Florence you can find a Buontalenti flavour, named after the great man, that is a creamy concoction to devour. If you happen to be visiting San Gimignano, make time to peruse the flavours at world champion, Dondoli, where you can find a prosecco flavour and even one laced with saffron.
Schiacciata alla Fiorentina
This Carnival cake pops into bakeries in spring. You’ll find it in a variety of fillings from cream, to chocolate, or fruity jam. This sponge like cake is dusted with icing sugar usually to display the Florentine symbol, Giglio. While in the autumn, Schiacciata con l’uva is baked layered with grapes to celebrate harvest time.
Candied fruit, nuts and honey and packed together in this dense sweet treat you’ll find in the shop windows of Siena. Panforte translates as ‘hard bread’ and dates back to the Middle Ages, where it was popular with the wealthy and spiced with exotic flavours imported from the Far East.
Normally served in the cooler autumn months when chestnuts are in season. This thin crepe like cake, made with chestnut flour, is dressed with pine nuts, sweet raisins and rosemary for a unique, rustic flavour. Serve with a sweet wine to finish a meal. Salute!