When Pope Eugene IV° proclaimed the Ecumenical Council in Florence to try to reunite the Church of the East with that of the West (separated because of the great Schism), a sumptuos banquet was organized by the Medici family.On that occasion it was served a dessert wine that Cardinal Bessarion, Bishop of Nicaea (Greece), appreciated deeply, exclaiming, “but this sweet wine is the xantos “, due to its striking resemblance to a wine produced on the island of Xanthos in Greece.
Who was listening to him at that time thought the Cardinal meant to say that the wine was so good as to be rated a holy product, and therefore, from that day on that wine was called “Vin Santo”.
Today, in all Tuscany, the Vin Santo goes frequently with the consumption of sweets, especially with the nooks, the famous biscuits of Prato. While the Cardinal was drinking the Vin Santo he was also eating a roasted pork loin and he liked it so much that exclaimed: “aristos” which in Greek means “the best”, and the Florentines on-site, thinking that it was calling the dish with his own name, found it very funny and turned that word into “Arista”: still today, in Tuscany, the pork loin is called “arista”.
LINK: Pietro Melli, www.peterhouses.com