Zuppa di pane di Dante, a fourteenth-century flavour
In the occasion of the seven hundred years since Dante’s death, the restaurant at Fattoria del Colle will serve this Tuscan fourteenth-century bread and vegetable soup. You will taste the Middle Ages
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini
Beans, autochthonous Tuscan plants that the expert botanist Caterina Cardia has planted in the vegetable garden at Fattoria del Colle, as well as onions form Certaldo, extra virgin olive oil form our olive groves and home baked bread by our chef Doriana Marchi with sourdough…. All to create a soup similar to what Dante would have eaten in 1300. That year the supreme poet went to Rome along the Via Francigena which, in the southern section of Siena, crosses the Valdorcia. Wanderers stopped to sleep in the Spedali along the way. They prayed and consumed very simple dinners based on local dishes.
A SOUP THAT TEACHES MEDIEVAL HISTORY
Bread soups with beans and vegetables were typical of the countryside and Dante certainly ate them very often. In the Trequanda area, about 20 km from the via Francigena, bread soups were enriched with a few pieces of pork as the housewives still do today.
However Dante’s bread soup at Fattoria del Colle is certainly better than the one that fed the supreme poet on the long journey to Rome but the ingredients are almost the same. For this reason we can consider savouring this soup a cultural experience even more than a gastronomic one: a direct knowledge of the Tuscan Middle Ages.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ZUPPA DI PANE DI DANTE
Half a kilo of black-eyed beans, a Certaldo onion, a large slice of prosciutto and one slice of salted Tuscan rigatino, bread made with sourdough, half a glass of extra virgin olive oil, kale, chard, stork, other Tuscan wild herbs, parsley, salt and black pepper.