When autumn arrives, the Siena territory becomes really magnetic for people loving open air life, and living in the countryside becomes truly fascinating. I love this period! After hot summer months, it is quite wonderful to light the fireplace, to put on the first pullovers and look at the woods changing colours into the warmer nuances of red and yellow while the air becomes more fresh.
In this magical period, in which the vineyards are full of workers for the harves, the osterias are often attended by groups of laughing hunters and the days slowly shorten, it is really funny to sit down at lunch time in a restaurant or a little osteria and enjoy the many culinary traditions of this period.
A typical recipe of the Siena territory in this period, particularly in October and November, is the “Pan co’ santi” (Bread with Saints – where the “Saints” stay for nuts and raisins), an ancient recipe, a sort of sweet bread..
Since I am in Tuscany, I’ve always eaten Pan co’ Santi in autumn, often on sunday, together with my husband and my husband’s father, which are both very traditional and buy it every autumn around end october/begin november . The only problem is that now it is very difficul to find the Pan co’ Santi with the same taste of the past, because nowadays they tend to prepare this bread sweeter than it was in the past and not so spicy as it used to be.
For this reason, both my husband and my husband’s father buy Pan co’ Santi in bakeries and not in pastries and I suggest you to do the same.. always hoping to come back to ancient times, when the tastes were really stronger and pepper, here in Tuscany, was really very very used..
A place where we always find a very good Pan co’ Santi is in San Quirico d’Orcia, in the backery just outside the town walls, next to the pharmacy:
Via dei Canneti, 39
53027 San Quirico d’Orcia (Siena)
Oriana signals me the following link to Pan Co’ Santi recipe: click here for recipe
She has right: it is a very nice idea to prepare Pan Co’ Santi with children… it’s very funny! But also if you have no children (like me) but wish anyway to taste this tuscan spicy bread… don’t hesitate to try! we did it once… it’s simple and very good, at the end.