Not by Bread Alone

The Tuscans may have been among the first people to regularly use forks, but bread is  a Tuscan’s oldest and most treasured utensil. At every meal, it is enlisted to help transport one thing or another to the mouth. Traditional Tuscan bread tastes like no other bread in Italy, mostly because it is made without salt. As a result, it has a muted, almost bland flavor. The idea that Tuscan bakers would intentionally make their bread this way seems surprising, until you consider that bread alone is not the issue. In the Tuscan triumvirate of bread, olive oil, and wine, plain Tuscan bread is the perfect backdrop for the pepperiness of green Tuscan olive oil. And fascinatingly, both are in precise juxtaposition to the wines of Tuscany (Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, etc.) all of which possess a slight perception of saltiness. Salt and pepper = Wine and olive oil. Bread is their bridge. What more could be asked for?

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