Among many olive varieties typical of Tuscany (such as Frantoio, Moraiolo and Leccino) the hills around San Miniato are home to a high density of Mignole, a particularly prized olive tree. This oil is light green in colour, with a herbaceous aroma and a bitter and spicy taste. Its best combination is with a cabbage soup.
Azienda Agricola Bellesi Alberto Among the three thousand olive trees of the estate, on a twelve-hectare hillside garden, the Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil “Privilegio” PGI is produced. The territoriality and the high quality of the product are guaranteed by the accurate monitoring of each phase of the processing, from the olive harvest to the preservation of the oil produced.
Sanminiatese Oil Mill For over 50 years the Annessi family has handed down from father to son the art of pressing, combining it with the cultivation of the olive trees themselves. Since 1964, with skilful mastery and with the help of two continuous cycle plants, operating twenty-four hours a day for about two months a year, an extra-virgin oil with a unique flavour is produced completely cold.
There are many types of salami, which take on different names and characteristics depending on their size:
- The Salame di San Miniato
is a sausage made with the right balance of pork and sheep meat,
- Tuscan Wine Salami
Tuscan Salame al Vino is made with lean pork meat and wine is added to the mixture to prevent oxidation.
- the San Miniato loin of pork with vinsanto.
The finest cut of pork, the loin, is left to rest for hours in vinsanto, dried and matured for fifteen days and then served as carpaccio.
- The sbriciolona
is a traditional cured meat product made from lean and fatty meat that is minced quite finely and to which sun-dried wild fennel is added. The size, which is quite large, and the structure of the lard mean that it comes back in crumbs when sliced.
is a typical Tuscan sausage prepared using mainly parts of the pig’s head. The boiled meat is cut into small pieces and stuffed with spices into cloth bags.
- the salted lard of San Miniato
The salted lard of San Miniato is made from the back of the pig, and the fried lard cracklings are a real delicacy.
- The pork cheek mousse
has a pate-like appearance, a soft and spongy texture, a pinkish colour that tends to turn brownish on the surface. Spuma di gota di maiale (pork cheek mousse) is a cream, made from pork fat. It was used to refine the meat and prevent it from drying out too much during cooking. Its uniqueness is linked to the special processing technique and the fact that there are no similar products. It can also be eaten spread on hot croutons as an appetizer. It is a special product and annual production is limited to around three quintals.
- Fegatello di San Miniato
is made from selected meat and pork liver minced and enclosed in a flap of intestinal net held in place with a sprig of wild fennel. Particularly pleasant, delicate and tasty.
- Mallegato 🐌 PRESIDIO SLOWFOOD
Mallegato is a typical product, a legacy of medieval pork butchery, always eaten by the peasant families of San Miniato. Since some years it came back in fashion thanks to Slow Food that has inserted it in the list of the products to save. It is one of the rare blood-based cured meats that we can still taste today. The pig’s blood is collected at the slaughterhouse in a hygienic way, during the slaughter of the animal, in a short time is filtered and cooked. Once cooled, it is mixed with sultanas soaked in grappa, spices, salt, pork lard and pine nuts. The resulting mixture is stuffed into a natural gut casing and tied loosely, cooked in boiling water until it reaches the right consistency, then cooled and placed in cold storage to rest. There are two businesses that produce and promote this product in San Miniato: Macelleria Falaschi (San Miniato), Macelleria Lo Scalo (San Miniato Basso).
Breadmaking was a typical tradition in peasant culture. Bread was baked at home from week to week. Stale bread was used to make panzanella, pancotto, pappa col pomodoro and vegetable soups. Other traditional products are schiacciata pasquale (Easter bread), Tuscan bread, ramerino bread and schiacciata con l’uva (bread with grapes in September).
Flour is also used in sweets: the miniatesi are biscuits whose shape is reminiscent of a cantuccio, but the dough is very different, it is softer, more delicate and soft; the aromas are soft and slightly sugary.
Cantuccini di Federigo are amber-coloured, porous and crunchy. The Cantuccio di Federigo, which has been the pride of San Miniato confectionery for decades, is an elegant reworking of the Tuscan cantuccio, produced in ancient times with bread dough, oil, aniseed and sugar. They are fragrant biscuits, rich in slightly Tuscan almonds and dried sultanas which, once baked in the oven, acquire that beautiful toasted colour that makes them truly unique. They are traditionally served with vinsanto.
It has a very intense green colour fading towards the apex, it has a rounded shape and its leaves are tender and compact, with a bitter taste. They are sold in bunches of five with the whole stem. Production takes place in April and May, each plant yields five or six heads which, because of their rounded shape and above all because of the considerable size of the artichoke, are also called “mamme di San Miniato” in the area.
On the third Sunday of each month there is an appointment in the historical city center of San Miniato: the Mercatale. It takes place in Piazza Dante Alighieri for the whole morning. It has been operating for 10 years and has slowly gained more and more appeal thanks to the collateral activities open to School kids and families. Every month there is a selected seasonal product so further attract interest in the importance of slow food.