Florence, or Firenze in Italian, is famous for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and art galleries. But what about the food? Italian cuisine is one of the most popular in the world, and Florence is no exception. In this article, we’ll explore the delicious dishes you must try when in Florence.
Tuscan Cuisine: A Brief Overview
Tuscan cuisine is known for its simplicity and use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. The region’s fertile land and mild climate make it ideal for growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs, which are used extensively in Tuscan dishes. Meat, especially beef and pork, is also a staple in Tuscan cuisine, as are beans, legumes, and bread.
Ribollita is a hearty Tuscan soup made with bread, vegetables, and beans. Its name means “reboiled,” as it was traditionally made by reheating leftover soup from the previous day. The soup is made with black cabbage, which is a variety of kale, and cannellini beans. The bread used is usually stale, and it is added to the soup to thicken it. Ribollita is a perfect comfort food on a cold and rainy day.
2. Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a classic Tuscan dish, consisting of a thick T-bone steak grilled to perfection. The steak is usually seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil and then grilled over hot coals. It is served rare or medium-rare and is perfect for sharing between two or more people. Bistecca alla Fiorentina is usually accompanied by roasted potatoes or Tuscan beans.
2.1. Where to Try Bistecca alla Fiorentina
One of the best places to try Bistecca alla Fiorentina is at Trattoria Mario, a traditional Tuscan restaurant located in the Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood. The restaurant has been serving delicious food since 1953 and is a favorite among the locals.
2.2. Tips for Ordering Bistecca alla Fiorentina
When ordering Bistecca alla Fiorentina, it’s essential to know the weight of the steak beforehand. The price is usually calculated per 100 grams, and a typical steak weighs between 1 and 1.5 kg. Also, remember that the steak is served rare or medium-rare, so if you prefer your steak well-done, you might want to order something else.
3. Pappa al Pomodoro
Pappa al Pomodoro is another traditional Tuscan soup made with bread and tomatoes. The soup is typically made with stale bread, tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. The bread is soaked in water before being added to the soup, giving it a creamy texture. Pappa al Pomodoro is usually served hot and is perfect for a light lunch or dinner.
3.1. Where to Try Pappa al Pomodoro
One of the best places to try Pappa al Pomodoro is at Osteria Santo Spirito, a cozy restaurant located in the Oltrarno neighborhood. The restaurant serves traditional Tuscan cuisine and is popular among both tourists and locals.
3.2. Tips for Eating Pappa al Pomodoro
Pappa al Pomodoro is usually served as a starter, but it can also be eaten as a main course. It’s best enjoyed with a glass of Chianti, a red wine from the Tuscan region.
Florence is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide variety of delicious dishes to try. From hearty soups to grilled steaks, Tuscan cuisine is sure to satisfy your taste buds. So the next time you visit Florence, make sure to try these traditional dishes and experience the culinary delights of this beautiful city.