The Tuscan PICI, a taste of history

Come to discover the Italian culinary tradition during our upcoming YALAjourney Tuscany!

Typical Tuscan cuisine is made of simple and linear flavors, which well embody the rural origins, such as Tuscan pasta, of thick shape, porous to the touch and taste, and 100% handmade.


Throughout the “Sienese” region you can taste the unmistakable flavor of this pasta.

The story of the PICI seems to sink its roots in the Etruscan era. A first testimony can be found in the famous “Tomb of the Leopards of Tarquinia”, a funerary monument of the fifth century BC.

As for the name, the currents of thought are many and discordant. Some rumors claim that the name derives from the gesture that is made with the palm of the hand to make the tinny shape of the PICIO, which in the Tuscan culinary language comes from  the verb “appicciare”.

Other rumors claim that a connection can be found with the Pigelleto (Chestnut natural reserve in the South of Tuscany), as the spruce of the natural reserve of Mount Amiata, has a  white, narrow and elongated shape, just like that of the PICI.

The PICI are a “poor” dish, typical of rural reality, for the simplicity of the ingredients. The egg, present in the tables of the rich or used only during celebration moments, is absent. In the dough we find only water, flour and salt. The true richness of this pasta lies above all in the variety of seasonings. Traditionally, this pasta was eaten only with a little oil or a chopped onion and salt. But every reality, even the smallest, was and is still capable of offering a variation of this extraordinary product. One of the most known is with the “Aglione” a sauce made by garlic, ginger, oil and tomato sauce.

We can definitely say that the PICI are a product deeply rooted in these lands!


Article written by Francesca Lo Cascio

Don’t miss the unique opportunity to spend one week learning the secret of Italian cuisine!

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