Just when we thought we knew everything there was to
know about Tuscany, along comes Beth Elon – cookbook
writer and 30 year resident of a small village at the
foot of the Appenines – who takes us along the back
roads and through the ancient hill towns to remote restaurants
that are for the most part overlooked by tourists and
known only to the locals. At each restaurant the cooks
share their highly personal recipes for regional dishes
made with local ingredients.
With this guide in hand, you’ll not only know
where to dine, but what to order when you get there. Each
regional section begins with illuminating and absorbing
explanations of what makes Tuscan cooking so unique: location,
location, location. You’ll read about a bean so
beloved by a village that it’s been elevated to
cult status–but that is totally unheard of a few
kilometers down the road; the specialty of the Zeri Valley,
a milk-fed aboriginal baby lamb, that is almost unknown
elsewhere in Italy; the endless array of vegetable tarts
found only in Lunigiana and Garfagnana.
Elon has organized ten itineraries that include stops
at gourmet shops, food festivals, greenmarkets, and private
kitchens. Along the way, she points out significant architecture,
historic sites, churches, art, museums, and points of
interest in the memorable landscape. The indispensable
travel information in this guide is enriched by the author’s
deep personal knowledge of the history and legend of the
Included here are descriptions and contact information
for restaurants, trattorie, gourmet shops, wineries, olive
oil producers, local markets, and regional food festivals,
and how to find the monasteries, workshops, and artisans'
studios that offer local items ranging from herbal beauty
products to traditional ceramics and hand-woven linens.