The Hungry Archaeologist – Metal Hills

By: Giovanna Bianchi

Originally Published in 2011

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Throughout the Metal Hills, it is easy to find a restaurant where one can enjoy food that is both delicious and typical of the region. On the coast, there is excellent fish, while on the interior, dishes feature meats like pork or wild boar. In this area which has, until recently, been very poor, the philosophy of many dishes is tied to the idea of reuse—of day-old bread or of the least desirable parts of the animal. These are transformed into extraordinary sauces that cover a variety of local pastas. A typical meal in the Metal Hills might consist of the following: one begins with a fettunta—a piece of unsalted Tuscan bread roasted with garlic and brushed with some of the excellent olive oil of the region. For a primo, dishes that use old bread—such as pappa al pompdoro or acqua cotta maremmana—are popular. One also finds typical Sienese pasta like pici, fat, handmade spaghetti served with a sauce of tomato, breadcrumbs, and garlic, or tortelli maremmani, small pockets of pasta stuffed with ricotta, spinach, and chard. As a secondo, in the interior one finds cinghiale in umido, stewed wild boar, or other meats stewed with tomatoes, rosemary, and red wine. On the coast, a typical soup is the cacciucco made of small fish, slow-cooked with a tomato sauce and served in a dish with garlic-soaked bread. Finally, one should not forget the region’s excellent cheese, particularly the many varieties of pecorino.

From “The Silver Rush in Tuscany’s Wild West:Medieval Archaeology in the Metal Hills

Cite This Article

Bianchi, Giovanna. "The Hungry Archaeologist – Metal Hills." Expedition Magazine 53, no. 2 (July, 2011): -. Accessed June 13, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/the-hungry-archaeologist/


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