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Eating and drinking

Cuisine in Pisa offers lots of variety and taste, as diverse as the lands around it. From the sea to the farm land and on to the sweet, hilly landscape dominated by grain, olives and vines which on the high-ground gives way to rugged, wooded landscape.The many restaurants in the historic center offer typical dishes from Pisa, as well as fine, protected produce such as Monte Pisano olive oil, Pecorino cheese, Parco di Migliarino lamb, Pisan beef, San Miniato truffle, pine nuts, mushrooms, Pisanello tomatoes and much more.
Tuscan bread, made without salt, is an essential element of Pisan cuisine and the base of many canapé which introduce every self-respecting meal. We advise you to taste the canapé with chicken liver, truffle or pheasant sauce. There are lots of first course soup dishes during the winter months, which are always accompanied by slices of stale bread: really tasty bean or farro soup, Pappa al Pomodoro or Pisan style cabbage soup, while lots of fish soups derive from the sea. Another typical dish is Panzanella, a poor man’s dish based on stale bread, tomatoes and onion. Pasta dishes worth a mention include Pappardelle with duck or hare sauce. Pallette, little balls of polenta in meat sauce, are also really tasty.
Pisan cuisine incorporates lots of types of meat. You can taste typical Pisan beef, wild boar with olives, lamb fricassee, rabbit and lots of game: hare, pheasant, deer and wild boar, prepared in various ways. Obviously, fish is also very much present: there is lots of dried cod, which you can eat “alla Pisana”, fried or in a sweet and sour sauce. The coastal stock farms provide eels, mussels and clams; the Cozze Ripiene, mussels filled with secret ingredients, are excellent. Try them and you’ll believe us!
Desserts are based on the traditions of the poor and are based on dried fruit, such as Castagnaccio based on chestnuts, Pinolata with pine nuts, Torta Pisana, Torta coi Bischeri, full of chocolate and pine nuts, and lastly, oil and wine biscuits.
Wines: the land around Pisa, as in the rest of Tuscany, produces great DOC and IGT wines. The main names are: Chianti delle Colline Pisane, Bianco Pisano di San Torpé, Rosso Toscano and Montescudaio; the latter is available in white, red and Vin Santo. Vin Santo is an excellent passito wine which goes does down well with Cantucci dry, almond biscuits.

Photos courtesy of APT Pisa

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