A Taste of Tuscany

By: Jerry Post | Store Director, Oakwood
On: July 01, 2014

Recently, several of us from DLM went on a tour of parts of Europe to learn more about the history of the great foods we love, and to hopefully find some new and inspiring items that we could bring back to share with all of you. Our first stop was in Lucignano, a small village in Tuscany located between Arezzo and Siena. There are a little less than 4,000 people who live in Lucignano, and on the Sunday evening we arrived all of them seemed to be in the town square. There was a festival going on called La Maggiolata, where we enjoyed a small parade with a brass band, singers, and dancers all in traditional costume. It was terrific!

Our group and most of the others at the festival decided that for dinner we would try the festival tent. Local groups take control of the tent from night to night to raise money for charitable interests. Traditionally, they will serve local fare that is relatively easy to prepare and serve to large groups of people. On this night, there were several dishes offered including vegetarian items, beef, duck, and wild boar. I decided along with a few others, to have the Pici colla Nana (pasta with duck).

Pici is similar in look to spaghetti but much thicker, and it is the unofficial pasta of Tuscany. This pasta dish was prepared with seasoned duck, olive oil, and fresh tomatoes. It was delicious! There was just the right amount of spicing to meld the tomato and duck into a nice little duet. The sauce was very good, but it was the Pici that made the meal into a symphony of flavor and texture for the palate. None of us could believe that we hadn’t known about Pici before, and it quickly took over as the main topic of conversation. It has a wonderful consistency and although it is thick we did not find it to be incredibly filling. It can also be used in just about any pasta recipe. I was elated to find that we have access to one of the best in Seggiano’s Organic Pici Pasta. It may take a few extra minutes to prepare, but it is more than worth the wait!

Over the next several months, you should be seeing more articles from us about this trip. I am happy that I was able to tell you about our first item and I am looking forward to the other unique products we will be sharing with you. Most importantly, I want to thank you, because your interest in fun, exotic, and international foods allows us to be able to explore the world and find the best offerings to bring back home to DLM.