Florence is many things: city of art, city of culture, city of love… but we have not to forget that Florence is also the city of good food and good wine. Its culinary tradition comes from the preparation of poor dishes but rich in taste and nutrients; for this reason, the ingredients that are never lacking in Florentine cuisine are the characteristic bread without salt (called “sciocco“), meat (expecially game meat), extra-virgin olive oil from the hills, legumes present in most of the dishes and wine produced in the province of Florence. We have made a gastronomic journey with the most representative dishes of Florentine cuisine, to try absolutely during a weekend in Florence.
~ STARTER ~
Tuscan crostini: usually made with chicken livers dipped in vin santo, broth and stale bread; these crostini undergo variations from village to village in the province, sometimes they add oil or butter, some onion or other vegetables.
~ FIRST COURSES ~
Pappa al pomodoro: Tuscan stale bread flavored with garlic, completely covered by tomato sauce (rib, typical of the Florentine hills) and vegetable broth, until the bread melts and becomes a pappa.
Ribollita: famous throughout Italy, it’s a soup of bread heated several times and consumed the day after the preparation; the three fundamental ingredients are stale bread, the Florentine black cabbage and legumes, then you can add more vegetables like carrot, celery, potatoes, onions, savoy cabbage and chard.
~ SECOND COURSES ~
Florentine-style steak: it looks like a simple dish, but in reality the meat requires particular processes of maturation, which must be very advanced, cutting at least 1.2 kg in weight and 5 cm in height, and cooking rare meat on the grill or on a stone.
Lampredotto: Florentine street food excellence, it’s a type of tripe placed in the heart of a sandwich, wet with the vegetable broth where the meat was boiled, which is finally seasoned with salt and pepper, or with green sauce and spicy oil.
~ SIDE DISH ~
Beans all’uccelletto: tasty dish suitable to accompany the meat, it consists of boiled beans and seasoned in a sauce of tomato sauce, olive oil, chopped onion, pepper and sage.
~ DESSERTS ~
Schiacciata alla fiorentina: classic Carnival cake, it’s low and rectangular; this cake is reminiscent of a margherita cake, but characterized by the classic central Florentine lily, made with icing sugar, it can also be filled with whipped cream, Chantilly cream or chocolate.
Zuccotto: considered the first semifreddo in history, its dome-shaped shape is inspired by that of a helmet, the object in which it was realized for the first time by Buontalenti at the court of Caterina de ‘Medici; it’s prepared with simple ingredients such as sponge cake soaked with alchermes, citrus peel, ricotta and cocoa and for the rest it can be garnished as desired, with fruit, chocolate or other ingredients.You just have to taste the dishes of this typical cuisine, ready not only to delight your palate, but to involve all your senses divinely. [photo credits cover image: Giallozafferano]