Organic food in Tuscany

Jujube fruits at Villa le Barone Panzano in Chianti
Jujube fruits at Villa le Barone Panzano in Chianti

Do you wish to taste organic food and seasonal food in Tuscany? At Villa le Barone we serve organic food, with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables: in early spring, we had the cherries. In summer, we have made our jam with the apricots and the plums produced in Villa le Barone.

Soon the quinces will be mature and we will make the jelly!

Did you know that in Greek mythology, the “golden apple” Paris gave to the goddess Aphrodite (in return for the love of Helen, ‘the most beautiful woman in the world ‘) and which sparked the Trojan War, is thought to be a quince, and not an apple? We have brought back from our organic farm the savory “beefsteak tomatoes” (cuore di bue), as well as the delectable “Muscat Hambourg” grape, a black grape known for its sweet flavor, its smooth texture and musky taste. It also makes exquisite pies!

Soon we will be able to crop the white grape “Dattier de Beyrouth”. There are still some peaches with which we are making our own sherbets. Figs are beginning to ripen… and some guests like to pick them up on the tree! In our orchard, we also have hazels, medlar, kakis, and ”jujube”, a very ancient shrub tree coming from south Asia, with thorny branches, that produces fruits looking similar to an olive pit! And we have, in our farm as well as in Villa le Barone, many olive trees, allowing us to produce an extra virgin olive oil that benefit from the ecolabel “Agriqualità”.

In Villa le Barone’s vegetable garden we have some salads, kale to make the delicious “ribolitta”, beautiful pumpkins, and all the aromatic herbs necessary for cooking: various species of sage, rosemary, thyme, laurel… The organic food served in our restaurant is genuine and delicious! It is “slow food”!

Tuscan Beer

Tuscan beer Vapori di Birra
Tuscan beer Vapori di Birra

Tuscan wine or Tuscan beer? You will find both in Tuscany and they are both excellent! Tuscany is in fact the third craft beer producer in Italy, with about 80 producers but there is only one Tuscan beer produced with geothermal energy!

One of the oldest beverage produced by man , beer was brought in Italy by the Etruscans 2000 years ago , It was one of the most common drinks during the Middle Ages.in Europe, in particular in the northern and eastern part where grape cultivation was difficult or impossible. Today, the production of beer has been industrialized, but a number of innovative entrepreneurs have continued the tradition of producing craft beer, and Tuscan beers are particularly appreciated.

The bar , next to the infinity pool at Villale Barone
The bar , next to the infinity pool at Villale Barone

Beer production requires a lot of energy (the grain is milled, mashed, cooked, etc), but there is a Tuscan beer produced with geothermal energy, a sustainable source of energy, it is the brewery “Vapori di Birra” , based in Sasso Pisano , close to our farm “Vecchienna”. Water, malt, hops, yeast and sugar are the only ingredients used to produce this Tuscan beer, cooked and brought to fermentation with the heat of the earth. The result is an exclusive high quality beer, unfiltered and unpasteurized, refermented in the bottle. To preserve the organoleptic quality it is not more submitted to any filtration and pasteurization. It is marketed in 3 varieties Magma, Geyser and Sulfurea.

One can find this craft Tuscan beer at Villa le Barone in our honesty bar or in the bar close to our infinity pool!

Tuscan food wine and cheeses

Free serving buffet table with Italian cheeses
Free serving buffet table with Italian cheeses

What is best than a Tuscan dinner with good Italian cheeses and with a good glass of Chianti Classico wine? Made of cow’s milk, sheep or goat’s milk, Italian cheeses come of all of shapes and flavors, and at Villa le Barone, we are selecting the best for our guests on the free serving buffet table: parmesan, gorgonzola, pecorino, taleggio… and all of them have the label DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) that certifies the origin of the product.

For Italians, there is no good dinner without cheese, and, at Villa le Barone you will find a good choice of Italian cheeses, from all regions. They are served on the free serving buffet table in our restaurant, and you can savor them either at the beginning of the dinner… or at the end.
Of course, you will find Parmesan (“parmigiano”) the king of the cheeses. Produced in the Parma region, in the northern part of Italy, it is a “grainy” cheese, coming in huge round wheels, in which pieces are cut. A sprinkling of parmesan cheese gives everything a delicious taste, and is used to top pasta. But it is also used in a number of dishes such as “the Parmigiana”, a gratin of eggplant covered with Parmesan cheese.

A very famous cheese from Tuscany is the “Pecorino”, one of Italy’s oldest cheeses that gets its name from the Italian word “pecore”, which means sheep .Earliest records of pecorino cheese production in Tuscany go back to Etruscan and Roman times. You find it soft or dry (“Stagionato”), and served with pears and walnuts or with honey or jam.

Italian cheeses on a Tuscan market
Italian cheeses on a Tuscan market

Gorgonzola is a soft cheese, a specific type of blue cheese prepared with cow milk, and that contain spots or stripes of the mold “Penicillium”. By law (and by tradition!), Gorgonzola is made exclusively with milk from cows raised in Piedmont and Lombardy, around the city of Gorgonzola . Since 1996, Gorgonzola has benefited from the Denomination of Protected Origin (DOP) certification.

Taleggio  is a semisoft, washed-rind, smear-ripened Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio, an Alpine valley in the Italian region of Lombardy.  Traditionally formed in square molds, the cheese has a thin crust and a strong aroma, but its flavor is comparatively mild. The cheese is set on wood shelves in chambers, sometimes in caves as per tradition, and matures within six to ten weeks. It is washed once a week with a seawater sponge to prevent mold growth and to form its typical orange or rose crust.

A delicious dinner with exquisite cheeses and an excellent Chianti Classico in the cheerful restaurant of Villa le Barone, what best?