Hidden treasures

Peposo: history of an ancient and delicious dish

Did you know that...

Peposo: history of an ancient and delicious dish

Along with the Florentine steak, peposo is certainly one of the best known and most delicious traditional Tuscan dishes. It is a succulent stew cooked for a long time in abundant wine and pepper. The result is tasty meat morsels that melt your mouth. If you are visiting Tuscany, make sure you taste it, perhaps washed down with a glass of Chianti: as they say, a match made in heaven!

Do you know the history of this dish? It was born in the area between Impruneta and Greve in Chianti, south of Florence, where there were several furnaces that produced bricks but also the classic terracotta vases. The 'fornacini', i.e. the workers employed there, often used the ovens to cook their lunch. They placed a container, obviously of earthenware, at the mouth of the oven, with pieces of meat that were neither among the finest nor the freshest. In most cases these were bits of beef chuck. Everything was left to bake slowly without anyone taking care of it, so time and heat performed the miracle and, in the end, the fornacini were left with a tender meat like butter soaked in a tasty sauce.

But do you know that this dish is also linked to the construction of the Dome of Florence? Brunelleschi realized, in fact, that the workers, when stopping for their lunch break, took a long time and many returned to work drunk! Since he was already sourcing his bricks from Impruneta, he decided to rely on the 'fornacini' also for the 'catering'! So it was that the bricks were delivered together with the pots of peposo which were winched with wine up to the workers on the scaffolding. The workers were happy, the wine was never too much so as not to get people drunk and without having to go up and down for lunch, work could proceed at a faster pace.

Well now that you know everything about peposo and that you are drooling at the thought of meat melting in your mouth, take a look at our food and wine tours and choose the one that best takes your fancy! And enjoy your meal.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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