Street Food in Florence
We’d like to show you another side of the city, one that will thrill you and allow you to live the Italian way without spending the tourist money.
When arriving in Tuscany visitors are offered authentic traditional cuisine and often “bistecca alla fiorentina” will be recommended a huge juicy steak, it is unforgettable and yet can not be considered a light meal, in all senses. Elegant restaurants, antique inns, wine bars, but this region too feels the need to accustom to rhythms that have changed, to life’s race, to businessmen that need a quick lunch or students that in between classes and a job need a break. Real typical local foods are found in booths in stalls, it’s what we nowadays call street-food, having nothing to do with fast food, but only with tradition that goes hand in hand with life’s necessities. Some decades ago this type of eating habit was popular, rich in calories, low in cost and truly convenient.
In Florence the quintessential street food is lampredotto: a panino stuffed with one of the cows stomachs (the abomasum), boiled in a flavoured broth and chopped. The lampredotto, which is very soft, is eaten with salsa piccante (hot, spicy sauce) yet principally with salsa verde, this green sauce gives the panino a really spicy and tasty finish.
These stalls sell other paninos, beware of the one’s that propose other than the traditional lampredotto or “trippa” (tripe), hot-dogs and hamburgers, the real Florentine won’t go near them, the antique tradition is still very popular and does not want to become a mingling of any kind of sandwich or bun.
Panino al Lampredotto
3 Celery sticks
4 Laurel leaves
2 peeled tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Squeeze the lemon into a bowl of water, drop the rind into the bowl, and add a pinch of salt and a little bit of flour (not enough to make a paste). Peel the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, then trim the tops perpendicular to the length of the artichokes, and cut the artichokes into eighths. Soak them in the acidulated water for an hour. Then rinse them, pat them dry, flour them, dredge them in the egg, and fry them until crisp and golden in hot, but not really hot oil (because you don’t want the outside to burn before the inside is cooked).
One of the 4 stomachs of the cow, whose name is abomaso and is a dark brown color, ask your butcher for the upper most tender part.