Typical Florentine Dishes Smart Guide
In Tuscany, and Florence, the cult of good food comes from far away. The old rural traditions retraceable in the dishes prepared with simple ingredients and ancient recipes, have been rediscovered in the second half of last century and today are among the treats and delicacies that can be tasted in Florence’s restaurants and trattorias.
Ribollita soup, Pappa col Pomodoro, Pancotto, fried mixed vegetables with pork livers and brains, and up to the legendary Fiorentina steak and the desserts based on chestnut flour, are the typical Florentine dishes, always appreciated even by lords, nobles and middle class people. All this, of course, accompanied by Tuscan bread (without salt,) extra virgin olive oil and wine from the Chianti and Mugello hills.
Tuscan cuisine in general is an expression of the Mediterranean diet, rich in natural products, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, game, to create dishes that are always tasty and slightly spicy, where the flavor of raw materials is enhanced by the Tuscan bread, so unique and special.
A typical Florentine lunch
In the hundreds of inns and restaurants of Florence you will find all regional recipes, from appetizers to desserts. A typical Florentine lunch begins with an antipasto of salami, Tuscan oil and fettunta, a slice of bread seasoned with salt, oil, and rabbit liver. The choice of first courses ranges from “pappa col pomodoro,” a tomato soup consisting of stale bread with garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and peppers, to ribollita, a vegetable soup and stale bread cooked at least 24 hours before being served. Among the main courses in addition to high quality beef steak at least 5-6 cm high and just seared on both sides, the famous Fiorentina steak, do not miss the tripe with tomato sauce and the lampedrotto, which can be tasted even at some kiosks along the streets. With regards to typical desserts, besides the castagnaccio, do not miss the schiacciata alla fiorentina, a simple sweet made of flour, yeast, lard, eggs, sugar and grated orange zest.
Of course, Tuscan cold cuts deserve a separate chapter. They are usually served as an appetizer. Among the most famous on the tables of Florence’s restaurants: the Finocchiona, a pork sausage with fennel seeds and bathed in red wine, the legendary wild boar sausages, a classic Tuscan salami, salted ham, the shoulder bone or capocollo wild fennel.
A brief overview of the most famous restaurants in Florence
Typical restaurants can be found throughout the city of Florence. The most famous and curious include Ristorante dei Frescobaldi, in Via de’ Magazzini, where the owners, starting from the prized wines of their cellar, have improved setting up two very private rooms where you can enjoy the original Tuscan cuisine; Trattoria Del Fagioli, in Corso Tintori, where both the welcome and the kitchen, both family-run, guarantee a real taste of Florentine traditional cuisine; Osteria Caffè Italiano, a restaurant in Via Isola delle Stinche, housed in the fourteenth century palazzo Salviati, which is very loyal to traditions with a strong touch of modernity; Da Oliviero, in via delle Terme, a very old restaurant highly valued for the combination of tradition and fantasy in the kitchen.
In the streets a little off centre, you can enjoy great food spending a little less, dishes that have nothing to envy to the delicacies prepared by the chefs of the restaurants in the historical centre of Florence.
Local products, from traditional “salumerie” to city markets
Gourmet shopping in Florence is a delight for the eyes and the palate. In many shops specializing in take-away typical dishes and delis (salumerie,) you can literally smell Tuscan tradition, thanks to fresh cold cuts and cheeses, and the seasonal vegetables grown in the immediate vicinity of the city. Great delis can be found at Florence’s salotto buono, in Via de’ Tornabuoni, as well as along all the streets around the Duomo. Even in the city markets and in particular in the markets of San Lorenzo and Sant’Ambrogio, the delights of Tuscan cuisine are within the reach of citizens and tourists alike.