What to Eat in Florence
It's a fact that food in Italy is never disappointing, so we want you to make your mouth water by telling you about the culinary specialities of Florence.
We'll take you on a journey to discover the typical atmosphere of an osteria, where the menu is characterised by the inviting house specialities and the ubiquitous Chianti wine.
Appetisers, first courses, second courses, and desserts: here's our guide to discovering Florence's culinary delicacies.
To whet your appetite, let's start with the appetisers:
Strictly Tuscan bread (made without salt) that is toasted and served with a smearing of garlic and olive oil. Simple and perfect for accompanying your aperitif!
To start off on the right foot, you must try the Tuscan crostini. Rich and tasty chicken liver patè enriched with anchovies and capers: this delicacy is a staple on the list of typical Tuscan appetisers.
On to the first courses, with these historic bread-based recipes:
A traditional peasant dish, typically made in winter, where Tuscan kale is the star ingredient. In the Middle Ages, noble families used to give servants their leftover food, who proceeded to slowly boil the leftover vegetables and bread over a long time. The result was a delicious steaming hot velvety soup accompanied by toasted bread, cannellini beans and rings of fresh onion, to add even more flavour.
credits flickr Amelia Crock
A cold summer dish prepared with stale Tuscan bread that is left to soak in water for a few hours. The original recipe is seasoned with thinly sliced onion and fresh cucumber, but over time the dish has undergone an evolution, resulting in ingredients being added, beginning with tomatoes.
Meat is called "ciccia" in Florence
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
The reigning queen and renowned star of Florence's cuisine, Florentine steak is obtained from the short loin of Chianina beef, which explains the particular T shape. Cooking instructions: it must be served rare!
Once a traditional Florentine peasant dish, now a mainstay of Tuscan street food. The abomasum (cow's fourth stomach) is boiled to produce a delicate texture and a unique flavour, to be savoured in a takeaway sandwich. It is sold from iconic kiosks, known as "lampredottai". Remember to always ask for the accompanying "salsa verde", otherwise it is not a real lampredotto sandwich.
Never judge a book by its cover: while it isn't exactly visually appealing, tripe represents one of the traditional Florentine dishes and we could not fail to mention it in this article. What are the golden rules for making proper Florentine tripe? Slow cooking and lots of sauce.
So you're probably feeling full now, but there's always room for dessert!
Zuccotto owes its name to the particular container in which it was created, namely a helmet called a "zuccotto".
A layer of sponge cake is soaked in Alchermes liqueur and filled with ice cream and chocolate chips... mmm it makes your mouth water!
Schiacciata alla Fiorentina
A traditional dessert served during Carnevale celebrations, for which there seems to be no "official" recipe. Found in bars and patisseries, you can taste different versions of this typical dessert: soft dough filled with chantilly cream and dusted with icing sugar.
A dessert that owes its name to a peculiar story, whereby a cook working for an English family in Florence improvised this dessert by soaking dry biscuits in rosolio liqueur. Zuppa Inglese is, therefore, a pudding that combines the pungent taste of Alchermes with the sweet juxtaposition of custard, cocoa cream and crunchy dark chocolate chips.
Cantucci and Vin Santo
Fancy a digestif? End your meal in the manner best-loved by the Florentines: with a small glass of Vin Santo, a typical dessert wine, accompanied by twice-baked biscuits studded with almonds, known as Cantucci.
Enjoy your visit to Florence and remember to look out for restaurants serving the authentically traditional Florentine dishes we've just recommended to you.
We suggest you these destinations
Camping in the heart of the Renaissance, why not? Florence Camping in Town offers you an exciting and eco-friendly urban experience for your Italy holiday...