‘Field to table’ in Tuscany

Posted by Katy Peck on 27 November 2019
Related property: Stigliano
‘Field to table’ in Tuscany

During your holiday in Stigliano, you’ll find plenty to explore; picturesque landscapes, sweeping vineyards and charming hilltop towns just being the start! However, one thing seems to stand out in people’s memories when we ask about their Tuscan experience – the food.

But what is it about Tuscan food that so many people fall in love with?  We believe that the real key to its success is its simplicity. After all, the locally-grown produce is of such high quality there’s no need to mess around with it in order to make the most of the flavours. The area’s warm climate, rich, well-drained soil and spring rainfall tempts the best out of each ingredient, making them a dream to cook with.

The easiest way to get a taste of a Tuscan menu while staying at Stigliano is simply stepping out of your accommodation. The site has its own olive trees, from which we produce beautifully fresh olive oil that can be purchased on site. Olives have been eaten by people for approximately 8,000 years, changing from wild bushes into the cultivated olive trees that we know today. They come in many varieties and thrive in much the same environment as grapes, which is why you’ll often see the two growing side by side in Tuscan vineyards! From the harvest to the oil itself, olives are a real staple in Italian life, and you won’t find any fresher than those growing right on your doorstep.

Remember, if you’re staying during the autumn, you can even get involved with harvesting the site’s precious fruits. Spend some time in the sun, collecting the olives in the fresh air before paying a visit to the olive press to watch them being processed and bottled.

If this experience isn’t enough for you, there are plenty of other mouth-watering places to visit in the local area. We would highly recommend Fattoria La Vialla, a wonderful little farm and wine estate just over an hour north-east of Stigliano on the slopes of the Pratomagno mountains. The farmstead was rescued from abandonment by the Lo Franco family almost 50 years ago, and now has over 3,500 acres producing wines, oils, cheeses, pasta, cold cuts, jams, sauces, biscuits and more. Every step of the production is done in house, allowing visitors to sample only the very freshest produce.

The best way to really indulge is to visit the farm yourself and enjoy lunch in the piazetta, surrounded by rolling hills and the rustic farm buildings. Once you’ve had your fill, nip into the farm shop or bottega (open between April and October) where you can pick up some of your favourites to take home and share (or just keep for yourself!).

Of course, you may want to learn more about how to turn these beautiful ingredients into the amazing dishes found in Tuscany’s many restaurants. For a real insight into Tuscan cooking, pay a visit to Locanda Demetra; a family-run farm, restaurant and cooking school in Montalcino. The farm is run using permaculture principles, focusing on working with nature. Meanwhile, the family’s dedication to food and its role in family life means they very much focus on ‘field to table’ cooking. During your visit, you’ll enjoy a tour of the farm to learn where your ingredients come from, before learning how to make a full traditional Italian meal.

After a day sampling the many delights of Tuscany, there’s nothing quite like returning to your very own home from home to relax and enjoy the spectacular views and wonderful weather. Our Stigliano property is a delightful place to unwind after a day of exploration – click here to find out more about how you and your family can enjoy a break here.

 

Katy Peck

Katy Peck

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