Easter recipes and traditions in Valdichiana Senese

With its rural flavor, Easter in Valdichiana Senese brings together families and generations

As most of the Italian Regions, Tuscany and Valdichiana Senese have their traditional Easter recipes. Doughs, flour and patience are the ingredients of a culinary ritual that takes place in the kitchens of the Valdichiana Senese and that is passed down from generation to generation. Whole families meet in the days before Easter and, under the guidance of grandmothers and grandparents, they work to prepare " Ciaccia di Pasqua" Easter bread and "Ciambellini" traditional donuts according to the ancient recipes. The Easter recipes of the Valdichiana Senese have a completely authentic, rustic flavor, they are simple flavors that even in the taste remind the rural origin of this territory.

Ciaccia di Pasqua - Easter Bread 

La Ciaccia di Pasqua or Panina is a rustic bread made from flour, water, lard, Tuscan spices and the "friccioli" that is lard cut into small cubes which, when combined with the dough, enriches the flavor. A recipe that may seem unusual, completely different from the classic cheese easter bread or pasqualina cake that is widespread more or less in all the Italian regions, which at the taste expresses the agricultural and rural past of the Valdichiana Senese territory. It is a real delight that when combined with Tuscan cold cuts, Tuscan ham, capocollo or cinta senese salami, emphasize its delicacy.

Here is the recipe:
- 250g of flour 0
- 250 g of flour 00
- 200 g of water
- 200g of "friccioli" (lard)
- 100g of lard
- 50g of brewer's yeast
- Tuscan spices to taste
- Salt to taste
- Pepper as needed

Ciambellini - traditional donuts 

When we talk about Easter dessert, in Valdichiana Senese  there is only space for the "Ciambellini" the traditional donuts with an egg-based hole with a diameter of about 20 cm in the center flour and anise. A recipe that is also legend. It is said that in the 12th century the friars of a convent dropped a tray with all the ingredients to make Easter sweets. To remedy the damage, the friars would take all the ingredients and then mix them and cook the "Ciambellini". Ciambellini are used as a soaking sweet at the end of a meal with Vinsanto (no classic combination with cantucci for Easter) or with a sweet wine, or even for breakfast. Tradition wants that they are placed in wicker baskets and covered with a cloth to keep them soft and, once their softness is lost, they become the basis for other homemade desserts.

Here is the recipe for about 30 ciambellini:
-10 eggs
-1.8kg of flour
-800g of sugar
-300g of butter
-Grated peel of two oranges and two lemons
-2 sachets of vanillin
-150g of aniseed and vinsanto liqueur
-60g of baking powder

Easter Breakfast

The Ciaccia di Pasqua and Ciambellini are the real protagonists of the table on Easter days in Valdichiana Senese, at every meal. But the most important is the breakfast on Easter day. On Sunday morning the families of the Valdichiana Senese gather for a rich breakfast, an almost sacred rite of sharing and conviviality that is celebrated with salty and sweet. To the ciaccia di Pasqua and Ciambellini are added the Tuscan salami, capocollo, Tuscan salami, and the blessed egg which must be strictly kissed before tasting it, without using a knife and fork, but only the hands. A tradition that is kept alive over time and that makes this day more special than the others.

 

 

 

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