If we talk about Tuscan gastronomy, we cannot do so without delving into the traditions and specialties of the Maremma. Definitely one of the most exciting lands in Tuscany, Maremma was once considered an inhospitable and unhealthy place, but today it has been able to solve its problems well, and precisely from the gastronomic point of view this land definitely has a great future ahead of it.
A new tourism trend aimed at country offerings, has certainly fostered a process of growth in accommodations and with these in restaurants that are inspired by a popular and traditional genre.
The past of this land imposed strict gastronomic choices: after the Grosseto reclamation, begun as early as the Grand Duke of Lorraine, the territory was bought to the waters offering great opportunities for work. Thus began a strong call for skilled labor in agriculture and animal husbandry.
The reason Maremma is often associated with the American Far West is precisely that it belongs to apioneering era of rebirth, work and encounters between different Italian cultures that also bring their value to the cuisine of this new land. Obviously, the basis of our cuisine is relative to what the Maremma offers: grain, game, meat, excellent vegetables and, strangely, little fish (for the Maremmani, the sea has never been a friend to converse with but rather a third wheel to be pushed away and feared!).
Egg pasta is definitely the most immediate thing we have in the old kitchen of yesteryear and still holds a starring role today: tagliatelle and tortelli above all. These are "di magro," that is, from a poor and morose tradition, filled with spinach and ricotta and typical of another region: Emilia Romagna. Flour, eggs from the chicken coop, sheep's milk and spinach. Everything found on the farm and soon allowing this dish to become a success that is still contended by restaurant after restaurant.
On another level, however, it is the forest and hunting that guide us in the kitchen with game recipes. The wild boar and the deer are two classic examples but, once upon a time, there was porcupine to be made cacciatore with tomato and olives. Today it is a protected species. Pheasant, Woodcock, Wild Duck, baby birds, were good alternatives to be roasted and cooked on old cheap black cast iron cookers. Recipes that impose long "stew" cooking favoring the combination of aromatic herbs such as sage and rosemary or myrtle and juniper and tomato, which is a very common crop in Maremma.
While it is true that Maremma is a young land, its culinary tradition endures over time. Encountering these flavors can be surprising for its perseverance and unchanged authenticity. Among all of them, we like to point out some schools of thought that, in Maremma, follow their own gastronomic philosophy. They are more or less young companies, some even with a few stars of merit and some younger but no less attractive.
In 2005 King Sugo was born. The name is meant to combine two personalities: the noble personality of the Grand Duke and that of the sauce, the true king of Maremma. A restaurant that someone described as a window on the taste of the Maremma because the room is housed in a structure with large windows that give a glimpse of the small villages of Sticciano and Montepescali.
Re Sugo is next to Le Versegge Residence, a historic property of the Florentine Guicciardini Corsi Salviati family with Tommaso, owner and beating soul of this resort and restaurant, at the helm. Re Sugo's philosophy is the cuisine of tradition revised with imagination and innovation. So here is the tortello maremmano with little ricotta cheese, here is the chickpea ravioli with cod sauce, here is the wild boar with orange. Limousine red meat with a strong flavor and tenderness that enchants, for a Morellino tagliata in a bouquet of spicy, persuasive aromas. Wine cellar totally imprinted with the names of Maremma, from Argiano to Banfi, from Gramineta to Pupille. Small and large realities that alternate between pure varietals, Sangiovese above all, or measured blends with well-matched aromas.
The Maremma is studded with great gastronomic and culinary realities, all to be discovered in a journey made up of smells, colors and flavors: if the Maremma is good for us, here is also that its gastronomy and enology guides us with balance in the flavors of an ancient and innovative land. Always in search of the best, as only the wisest farmers have always known how to do.
Are you ready to start your journey to Tuscan gastronomy in Maremma? Call us.