Torta d’erbi
Torta d’erbi

Lunigiana is located among regions of strong gastronomic traditions. It has become a point of encounter of tastes that amalgamated with the time. Lunigiana is caractherized by delicate and strong tastes, and its specialities are nearly always realized with simple ingredients. Before being famous for its history or its nature, Lunigiana has become well-known for its kitchen, thanks above all to the expert use of the many spontaneous herbs that born in the zone.
The cake of grass (torta d’erbi) is a splendid example. It is a local pie made with a base of light pastry and filled with field grasses, leeks and spinach. The testaroli are perhaps the most famous plate. They are made from a batter of wheat flour, water and salt which is cooked in large cast iron pans with lids. They form a sort of pancake which is then boiled and cut up into small strips, usually served with pesto or mushrooms sauce. The Panigacci are another distictive plate. They are made of a batter, one which is cooked in red hot clay dishes over an open fire. They are then served as hot crispy pancakes filled with Parma ham, salami, coppa, stracchino cheese or nutella.
Lunigiana is proud of its mixerd meat as well, "spalla cotta", "culatello", salami, and its cheeses of sheep and goat.
The chestnuts and the mushrooms are a great resource of Lunigiana. Chestnust are used for the flour, and its leaves for the baking of foods. The Pattona is a chestnut batter cooked in clay dishes and served with ricotta and salami. a plump beige/brown mushroom in wicker baskets lined with chestnut leaves. The mushrooms are everywhere in the woods of Lunigiana. They can be served with pasta in a sauce or often with cream in a sauce with meat.
The cakes vary from dry ones like the cake of almonds, or the "Pasteriala" to the creamy ones, as the amor in Pontremoli.