Saturday, April 19, 2008

An offal day

After more than a week and a half of rain every day, today the sun came out again, and temperatures were up in the upper 60's. Before walking around though, I went to the Mercato Centrale again, to pick up some fruit and prosciutto, and also to have lunch. Now when most people think of Italian food, they think of pizza and pasta. While those are certainly popular here, they're not necessarily Tuscan or Florentine specialties. No, Tuscans seem to prefer fresh vegetables and legumes, and all kinds of meat. In fact, the most well-known specialty of Florence is 'bistecca fiorentina', a gigantic (ca. 16-20 oz.) T-bone steak lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection. But that's expensive, and so for fast food, Florentines resort to tripe. And so I went to 'Da Nerbone', one of the food stalls in the Mercato, for a Lampredotto sandwich. Lampredotto, by the way, is the fourth stomach of the cow, cooked for a long time in a tomato-based broth, served on a bun with some salsa verde. I must say, it was pretty good and very flavorful. I'll have to go back sometime and try the 'trippa alla fiorentina', boiled tripe in a tomato broth.

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