Tuscan bread: history and tradition

If you have already been in Tuscany, you might have noticed that local bread is missing one ingredient.. salt! As a matter of fact, Tuscan bread is intentionally made without salt.. but why?

tuscan bread history

Legend has it that in 1100, during the war with Florence, Pisa blocked the trade of salt, which became so hard to find and expensive to buy that those who could afford it would only use it to conserve food but not for making bread.

According to another version, during Medieval times, the local tax on salt was so prohibitive that the Tuscan population stopped using it, and even once the tax was lifted, the tradition of the ‘saltless’ bread remained.

This also led the locals to combine bread with typical Tuscan products, which resulted in today’s traditional dishes such as Pappa al Pomodoro (a tomato, basil and bread soup); Crostini con Fegatini di Pollo (toasted bread with chicken liver); and Panzanella (a fresh summer salad with juicy tomatoes, cucumber and bread).

“The blandness of the bread pairs perfectly with Tuscany’s typically flavourful cuisine, highlighting the taste of the dishes; the inside of the bread, with abundant air cavities that form as the dough rises, also pairs wonderfully with the thousands of condiments that the immense use of excellent local oil has always inspired.”


DOP Tuscan Bread

Tuscan Bread obtained the European DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) acknowledgement in 2016.

Tuscan bread DOP can be rectangular, oval and round, and is about 5-10 centimetres high, weighing between 500 grams and 2 kilograms. The crust is reddish-brown, somewhat crumbly and crunchy; the inside is soft, not tough to chew, contains a good amount of water even a few days after baking and has an ivory-white colour, with a slight aroma of toasted hazelnuts. The taste is strictly “empty” because salt is 100% absent from the dough.

The characteristics of its production make it a highly digestible product, thanks to the use of a mix of low-gluten flours, with nutrition coming from the wheat germ itself, as well as salt not being among the ingredients.

The wheat, flour and yeast used for making Tuscan bread DOP comes entirely from the Region of Tuscany and its production and packaging takes place here as well.

Source: Maremmans Blog

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