After a busy day between the sea and greenery of Isola del Giglio, a tasty break is somewhat necessary. This little island in the Tuscan archipelago is a treasure trove of traditional flavours and recipes, a delight for the more discerning palate. The Ansonaco del Giglio wine is a standout among the area’s major culinary players, cultivated since time immemorial on the tiny terraced farms directly above the sea. 90% of it is made with the indigenous Ansonica grape, and the final 10% supplied by Biancone, Muscatel, Malvasia and Procanico.
Slightly different is the Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario D.O.C, a straw-yellow, fairly intense white wine, made predominantly with the Ansonica grapes and supplemented with up to 15% from certain other varieties. It has a distinctive, slightly fruity aroma, and a dry, soft taste, lively and harmonious.
Grappa is obtained from distilling the fresh pomace left behind by the Ansonica grapes, which is used in a range of products: white grappa, honey grappa, blueberry grappa, rue grappa, rosemary grappa and grappa flavoured with the typical Mediterranean shrubland flowers. Aegilum is also a must-try, a liqueur made with licensed herbs and natural flavours.
The Panficato, a symbol of Giglio, is a sweet bread, fairly soft and recognisably brown with the figs, nuts, honey, wine and raisins that go into it. It makes for a perfect winter pudding but can be found in the island’s bakeries all year round.
Other specialities worth mentioning include pesce in scabeccio, a particular type of marinade that was used in the past to preserve small fish like anchovies and mullets.
Tonnina sott’olio consists of tuna fillets or steak conserved in oil. It is usually served with a Gigliese tomato salad, made with celery and spring onions. Bonito, meanwhile, is served not only with onions and celery but also with garlic, vinegar, lemon, orange, bay leaves and rosemary. Hunter’s rabbit is another speciality, but organic products abound too, such as honey, jam and strawberry and cherry preserves.