The culinary traditions in Siena manifest itself in all its glory at Christmas. If you are foodies Siena is the place for you.
Our culinary traditions say that tables have to be particularly joyous, a beautiful centerpiece is a must (my mother had made one colored with vegetables to eat later with the new olive oil ). A volcano of colors: orange carrot, white Belgian salad, red radishes, green celeries, slices of fennels, small tomatoes and small fresh onions.
We started with a self service buffet organized by the fireplace. On the table there were salty delicious cakes with onion and bacon, croutons with Porcini mushrooms, black croutons, small pieces with pecorino cheese on.
The first course is as always the legendary PASTA AL FORNO or LASAGNA with handmade pasta and baked in a wood oven that my father lights on a day before to reach the right temperature in order not to burn the dishes. Just a note: when you are in Tuscany don’t call it Lasagne alla Bolognese….
Then, as my tummy was not satisfied, the second course was roast meat cooked in the wood oven: rabbit, chicken, pigeon and lamb … all with roast potatoes!
If you are still not satisfied by my story, it’s time for cakes. Firstly the Sienese sweets: Panpepato (Gingerbread) – which I like more than Panforte because it’s more spicy -, Ricciarelli, Cantuccini (almond biscuits) perfect for Vinsanto wine (sweet wine). Then the typical Christmas sweet called Panettone (which my brother takes from Milan in a artisan bakery ). At the end homemade desserts that this year were Crostata with jam, a soft chocolate cake and a Pinolata.
We drank a Chianti Classico Riserva and a 2010th Montecucco Riserva and with desserts in Vin Santo and….. Grappa that someone drinks with the excuse that it’s good for digestion.
I forgot ….the coffee that at my parents’ house is made only with Moka .
A busy day for the jaws but this is just the beginning because the night of 25th and 26th we go on celebrating Christmas with relatives and friends with boiled meat and Home made green sauce, anchovy sauce and fruits mustard .
So a marathon …….
And you? What about your Christmas menu? Which is the best dish of the area where you live ?