In Italy eating without bread is heresy. Bread is present in all meals, regardless of the region. In Tuscany it is no different. Well, not really, because Tuscan bread has no salt. How come?
It all started in 1100, a time of strong rivalry between Pisa and Florence. To disrupt the Florentines, the Pisans blocked the salt supply. But the spell turned against the sorcerer, because the Florentines found a way to make bread without salt, which combines even better with Tuscan cuisine.
Tuscan dishes are full of strong and robust flavors. Salami, ham, olive oil, ribollita, chicken liver sauce, pappa al pomodoro, which go perfectly with the “pane sciocco”, without salt.
Bread without salt was also perfect for farmers to recover their energies in the countryside: they used to snack on bread soaked in wine and if it had salt, the mixture would certainly not be pleasant.
Even Dante refers precisely to the lack of salt in Tuscan bread in the Divine Comedy (Paradise XVII, 58-60):
“You will try how it tastes like salt
other people’s bread, and how hard is the alley
descending and ascending by other people’s stairs”
As Florence sticks to tradition, until nowadays the bread consumed on Tuscan tables is “pane sciocco”, the perfect accompaniment to any dish, Tuscan or not
If you come to Florence and want to taste the real “pane sciocco”, we recommend C.BIO, in the Mercato di Sant’Abrogio, which works with food produced with the greatest respect for its nature, with transparent processing methods in all production stages.