Hidden treasures

The Lampredotto of Firenze, the king of street food!

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Lampredotto

The Lampredotto of Firenze, the king of street food!

There are dishes that count as established institutions in the tradition and culture of some cities. Here, in Florence, this role is played, together with the steak, by an ancient preparation: the lampredotto. What is it? You might turn up your noses a bit after reading the explanation... but trust me, you’re mistaken! It is a real delicacy. To be precise, in fact, the lampredotto is the meat obtained from the lower part of the stomach of the cow. In short, it is offal. The origins of this preparation are very old and also offer a nice explanation of its funny name.

It seems that from the Middle Ages onwards, noblemen relied on a particularly tasty fish that was caught in the Arno: the lamprey. The ordinary population could not afford it and they ate mostly offal: protein-packed, substantial, but decidedly cheaper. And if you take a closer look at the bottom part of the stomach of the bovine, called abomasum, you’ll see that its shape resembles that of a fish. So it was that, in line with the playful Tuscan spirit, we began to call the recipe made with offal the 'lampredotto’.

 

Is this its history? What about today? Nowadays it’s still the same! Just like back then, it is cooked slowly in a large saucepan with the scents (celery, onion, carrot) making the meat tender and tasty. It is cut coarsely and laid on a 'semelle', a crispy bread that is made even more tasty by wetting the two halves inside with a little bit of broth. It is seasoned with oil, parsley and, if you want, a bit of green sauce. As you may have guessed it is not a restaurant dish, but you can find it in the 'trippai' or 'lampredottai' kiosks scattered around the center of Florence. It is not difficult to find them... just sniff the air and follow the inviting scent! The colorful 'barrocci' (wooden carts) of the past are no longer around, now they are called food trucks, but the spirit and taste have remained the same. The lampredotto is still the undisputed king of Florentine street food, not at all intimidated by burgers and kebabs!

Did we make you hungry and want to taste it? Would you also like to discover something more about typical Tuscan cuisine? Then we recommend you book our cooking class and visit to the central market of Florence or go on our walk in Florence and visit to the Central market with tasting. In both cases you will surely hear a lot about the lampredotto, since one of the most ancient and renowned trippai of the whole city is right there!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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