Located a few kilometres from Prato and Florence in the Tuscan countryside, Carmignano, has a rich past. Here history, art and culture come together with the local food and wine. Food lovers will get lost in the flavours of the territory before finding a true paradise in Carmigano, where everything is worth a taste!
The area boasts oil, wine, dried figs, the characteristic amaretti biscuits and much more. Here are 5 products you can’t miss on your slow-paced holiday through the Tuscan hills.
The silver colour of the hills surrounding Carmignano are proof of just how apt the area is for the cultivation of olive trees, which were certainly introduced by the Etruscans and abandoned after the fall of the Roman Empire. Luckily the tradition was preserved by the priests and monks of the local convents and abbeys.
Carmignano boasts a long tradition of producing olive oil that includes oil mills, farms and an excellent olive production that earned them the "Toscano" IGP (Protected Designation of Origin) recognition, along with the additional geographical label "Montalbano".
Today the olive tree continues to have a kind of intrinsic religiosity. The farmers talk about it with great respect, they know and keep its secrets, they treat it with great love and they are rewarded annually with a significant amount of exceptionally fine olive oil.
The "novo" (new) oil is green and spicy and very good with raw vegetables “in pinzimonio”, on the local bread from Prato, which is toasted and rubbed first with garlic (la fettunta), or on boiled beans or any other dish that pairs well with raw olive oil.
Among the many specialties in the territory, we mustn’t forget the wines! Thanks to its unique climate, Carmignano has one DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) and four DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) wines.
The most famous and beloved wines of the territory are the two reds: the Carmignano DOCG and the Barco Reale DOC. The fresh Vin Ruspo DOC rosé and amber Vin Santo DOC are also famous and pair well with Carmignano’s amaretti biscuits.
Stars of the territory, Carmignano’s dried figs are still processed according to the ancient traditions and meticulous techniques handed down from generation to generation. The varieties grown locally in the past were undoubtedly much more numerous than those produced today. In fact, 90% of the plants are now of the 'Dottato' cultivar, a white fig that lends itself very well to drying.
Carmignano’s culinary tradition includes these famous biscuits, which owe their success and their deliciousness to the passion and professionalism of the local pastry chefs and bakers. The original "Amaretti" recipe dates back to the late 19th century and was created by pastry chef Giovanni Bellini, the owner of a sweet shop in the town centre.
Traditionally an amaretto is a sweet biscuit, slightly bigger than a walnut, with an amber colour, a characteristic rounded shape and a strong almond aroma and flavour.
Saffron is among Carmignano’s more recent products. It’s a true delicacy, usually sold in its flower form and not in powder to maintain its genuineness and organoleptic characteristics. Just a pinch is enough to give any dish an unmistakable flavour.