Arezzo and the Grand Duchy
Under the Grand Duke mediceo the most important fact was the beginning of The reclamation of the Valley of Chiana continuing from Lorena which gave a great stimulus to the agriculture. But this reclamation gave an advantage to only a small group of landowners while the rural population continued to live in great hardship. Living a life of work and sacrifice, "cheered up" with moments at evening gatherings, the long winter evenings in which various families would meet to discuss and vent their feeling about the difficulties in which they lived. Various dishes of the aretine cooking were born in these moments, and is still today cooked above all in the countryside of Casentino. For these evenings everyone sent a piece of meat which in that moment their land or chicken run or their stables would allow; and the owner of the house would put the various pieces on the fire adding herbs and tomatoes, without the need of condiments or watching. The meal is also called «Cacciucco of meat» or «Cacciucco of Casentino», and is cooked in the houses of the farm workers and in some trattoria; it is often served with toasted bread.