Another version of this story goes back to when there was wide-spread poverty throughout the Middle Ages in Italy. And it is said that salt was a luxury to have and was simply too expensive for the Florentines to use in bread-making. During those times, it was normal for each farmhouse, even the less fortunate, to have a wood-burning oven where farm workers would cook their bread every two or three months. Once baked it was wrapped in a cloth and kept in a type of cupboard to store it.
Credits: FlickrBefore it was believed that man first produced flour about 18,000 years ago. But from what was found near Florence recently, in Mugello, the Neanderthals are said to be the first modern man to make flour. Researchers from the Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protosoria, have found traces of flour in the region of Mugello that dates back to 30,000 years ago. This proves that the nomadic gatherers weren’t only carnivorous. The fact that they liked eating breads high in carbohydrates helped them withstand cold and unfavorable environments. Bread is easy to store and to transport would have been a must to these nomadic groups.
Credits: FlickrToday the very best Tuscan bread comes from Altopascio, a province of Lucca, although there are many other cities that make such delicious bread like Altopascio, which belong to the Associazione Città del Pane (Bread Cities’ Association). The main traits of the Tuscan bread is there is a long rising period which helps it stay fresh for several days. It has an unrefined presence with a crunchy crust while the inside it is nice and soft. It comes in three basic shapes, round or bozza, long and narrow called filone and flat called ciabatta.
Credits: Katie Greenaway
Ribolita- a twice-boiled (referring to its name ‘re-boiled’) thick vegetable and bread based soup filled with beans, herbs and spices. Perfectly made for those cold winter nights in the countryside.
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