A Taste of Florence
The kitchen produces one of the four ‘F's’ (food) for which Tuscany is renowned throughout the world, the others being Fiorentina, females and factories (leather). Each city has its own specialties and those of Florence are many in number. This is why knowing how to choose a menu with many dishes, sometimes unknown to even Italians, can be anything but easy.
Our aim is therefore to help you select some of the dishes of a certain place and the restaurants where they are prepared according to ancient recipes.
One of the ingredients used to prepare the plates is the Tuscan bread, which has no salt or, as they say here, it is silly. Some of the more famous recipes that have emanated from Florence include the steak and tripe “alla fiorentina”, less known is however is that Florence cooks invented dishes like duck with orange and desserts such as ice cream and sorbet.
Discovering the pure and genuine tastes of the local palate is a pleasure that helps to know the true soul of this city.
My Florence menu would be something like:
The original bruschetta, a typical Tuscan antipasto, is a slice of bread slightly roasted, rubbed with a clove of garlic and seasoned with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt; nothing else. However, there are widespread variations that include other ingredients such as tomatoes, cheese, olives, mushrooms or whatever.
Not specifically a dish of Florence, but typical of Tuscany, it consists of an appetizer of toasted sliced bread sprinkled with chopped chicken liver with capers and anchovies cooked in vin santo.
Affettati misti – mixed meats
Tuscan salami is something else and in addition to ham, raw and cooked, and locally made sausage; one local speciality not to be missed is the finocchiona, a typical Florentine salami, which derives its name from the use of fennel. In October there is a town festival, in which Finocchiona is the protagonist.
Minestra di pane – Bread Soup
Many recipes of the Florentine kitchen are based on the recovery of stale bread. This is one of those. This is a tasty pasta dish, made by cooking vegetables (tomatoes, cabbage, kale, beans) with herbs and served on slices of toasted bread (which has been rubbed with garlic cloves). It is a vegetarian dish but it can be also flavored with pork rind.
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Just order “una Fiorentina” in any Tuscan restaurant and you know that you are requesting a thick slice of meat in the space of a rib. A genuine Fiorentina must have the bone stuck in a typical T shape; the Americans call it a T-bone steak. Also it has to be cooked, just not overcooked! So if you do not like rare meat, it is better to order another dish. Five minutes of cooking on the grill on one side and five on the other, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and Florentine steak is ready.
It is mostly paid by hectograms and it hardly costs less than 25euros , although you can be sure you will be satisfied. A glass of red wine is recommended to accompany the steak.
Baccalà alla fiorentina - Salt cod Florentine
Cod is one of the most common fish in the Florentine cuisine, especially when salted and soaked; this recipe is prepared with a tomato sauce.
Cibreo – Cock’s Comb
This dish, the favorite of Catherine de Medici, is basically an omelet flavored with beef broth, sage, onions, cockscomb, chicken livers, chicken hearts and wattles. Eat it hot and sprinkled with pepper.
A peasant dish made from the cow’s stomach, this is a foor best sampled from a street pedlar who specialises in it. For locals eating lampredotto is food from the street and it is usually served in a sandwich topped with hot sauce.
The tripe has usually a strong flavor, but here in Florence it is stronger, due to the use of ingredients such as onions, salt, tomatoes and pepper. It is served hot and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Schiacciata alla Fiorentina
This sweet, typical of the period of Carnival, is now prepared at any time of the year and it is recognized by the presence of the Florentine lily designed with cocoa powder while all around is covered with powdered sugar.
As its name reveals, it must be down (not to exceed 3 cm high) and very soft.
To know the best restaurants and pizzeria in Florence, stay connected!