In today’s Flavor of Italy Podcast - Episode 8, James Martin - travel writer, photographer and all around expert in off the beaten track spots in Italy - shared fascinating details about the Lunigiana in upper Tuscany.
The Lunigiana, where James & his wife Martha Bakergian have a home and spend five months every year, is a historical territory in northern Tuscany that also confines with the Emilia-Romagna and Liguria regions.
Today I chatted with James about the Lunigiana and some of his favorite local foods like panigacci, a typical unleavened flatbread that is a staple in two towns in the Lunigiana: Aulla and Podenzana. Below are two of his panigacci photographs.
Sometimes panigacci are served with pancetta:
Or in a basket along with Salumi and cheese:
You can find James on Twitter: @wanderingitaly, but the best place is his website: www.wanderingitaly.com.
Check out what James has written about the Lunigiana in upper Tuscany:
Here’s what James wrote about a few of the foods we discussed in today’s podcast episode:
If you’re interested in learning still more about panigacci and testaroli you can check out these articles:
James talked about the local cranberry bean (borlotti bean), the fagiolo di Bigliolo, which comes from the town right next to Piano Di Collecchio where James lives. James describes it as delicious and creamy with a very thin and digestible skin.
Here’s still more about the Lunigiana in upper Tuscany and its food:
Chestnuts remain an important food in the Lunigiana and chestnut flour is one of the Lunigiana area’s DOP products: https://visitlunigiana.it/farina-di-castagne-dop/
Here's the Aulla town flyer that was used to promote the 2020 annual Chiodo di Maiale (pork burger) sagra - food festival - that took place this past February.
Two “teste” are used to cook the Chiodo di Maiale in the Lunigiana:
Teste are also used to cook panigacci, and together with the chiodo di maiale they make the fabulous local pork burger: the luniburger.
Here’s information about a “Lunigiana World” app on Apple:
Count on hearing more from James and his unique travels and “eatings” throughout Italy in future Flavor of Italy Podcast episodes! Podcast episodes air every Tuesday.
Note: we are still in full lockdown so this interview was conducted at a distance: James Martin in San Francisco and me in Rome. Please be patient with some of the audio quality; it’s part of the difficulty in living under lockdown.
I make a small commission on purchases made through links on my website. Prices are identical for you, but purchasing through my links helps support my work to bring you great recipes, podcast episodes, culinary and travel information.