Who invented the bistecca alla fiorentina?Local Traditions
Who invented the bistecca alla fiorentina?
The Florentine beefsteak is the undisputed queen of Tuscany’s gastronomy. Including the bone, and strictly cooked in ‘blood’ (i.e. rare) and weighing around a kilo, it is a must-try experience. This said, do you know that it seems that for the origin of this delicacy we should even thank the Medici? In the 1500s, in fact, for the feast of Saint Lawrence, bonfires were lit throughout the city where large quantities of meat were roasted and then distributed to the population. Can you imagine how beautiful? The whole of Florence permeated by the inviting scent of grilled meat and Florentine beefsteaks free for all! A ‘re-enactment’ of this tradition should be introduced, don’t you think?
However, it seems that at one of these summer celebrations some English knights were also present. They were so delighted by that succulent and tasty meat, that they apparently asked for more and more shouting in their language: ‘beef steak’. The term has stuck and come down to the present time even if it was adapted to the ‘Florentine’ version as bistecca.
There is also another version of the story that still involves the English. Indeed, British friends seem to have 'influenced' Tuscan cuisine by leaving several traces of their presence. ‘Rosbif’ for instance is a distortion of ‘roast beef’. Talking about the steak again, they are said to have introduced in Tuscany, around the 1800’s the meat cut with the bone: it was the so-called ‘T-bone steak’.
Which version do you like best and, above all, which one is true? You could book tour in Florence on the Medici’s footsteps and ask your guide for confirmation. To top it off, we also recommend you sit down in a tavern – a down to earth one that is - and have a beautiful Florentine steak cooked for you.
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