Pici? Not just some spaghetti!

Montepulciano has a great culinary tradition, tightly linked to the Tuscan one. The most important  dish and possibly also the most representative of this tradition, is “pici”. Since this dish is not very famous outside Montepulciano area, it has been able to keep itself unchanged through the centuries.

The pici is a kind of long pasta, similar to spaghetti, but hand-made and for this reason it is rougher and more porous… it is easy to imagine how long it takes to prepare the pici, and this is why today they are usually industrially produced: the final product and its taste are obviously a whole different thing!
Pici are served with different traditional sauces: aglione (a tomato sauce with a lot of garlic), meat sauce, (from fowl to courtyard animal meat),  cacio e pepe, briciole (with fried breadcrumbs and hot pepper).

As we were saying, pici have deep roots in the history of Montepluciano and some say they go back to the Etruscan times. Today the pici are considered to be an exquisite dish, meant for the most refined tourists, but back in time it was a poor meal, cooked and eaten only by peasants. The pici’s tradition is deeply rooted in Montepulciano and in the surrounding areas where, in summertime, people can find many feasts related to this dish. During these festivals, you might not only taste some delicious pici, but also take part to free courses in which local housewives teach you to prepare them.