|Lampredotto stand near the straw market|
Clients often say to me when they book a tour that they want to see ‘real Florence’ and they want to experience some Florentine life, and indulging in the famous Italian cuisine is high on their list of priorities. That being the case, the Florentine street food is an absolute must! There are a few little caravans around the centre of the city that sell the much loved lampredotto sandwich and often at lunchtime they are hard to see due to the number of people waiting to order but already by mid-morning the odour of the fourth stomach of the cow wafts through the streets. Florentines have been devouring the fourth stomach since the cows came home, and like most origins of the really typical foods relating to Tuscany, it was part of the poor-man’s diet. The really nice cuts and parts of the animal would be sold to the wealthy and the leftovers would be bought by the peasants or kept by the farmer’s family after selling the rest. The real name is Abomasum but Lampredotto is the Florentine word given to this part of the stomach (the cow has four in total) and it refers the appearance of it when cooked.
|Tripe and lampredotto in the central food market|
They thought it looked similar in colour and texture to the lamprey eels that were once common in the Arno river. It is boiled for a long time with onions, parsley, celery and onion and then served in a bread roll with a ‘salsa verde’ (made with parsley) or plain with salt and pepper or with spicy oil. There is one of the caravans at the Straw Market, outside the central food market, near the San Ambrogio food market and near Dante’s house. In very traditional trattoria’s you will see it on the menu, it may appear as ‘lampredotto in zimino’ (with chard or spinach). A great trattoria-tripperia is ‘Magazzino’ open seven days in Piazza della Passera on the Oltrarno specialising in tripe and lampredotto. The family also owns the caravan at the Straw Market. Buon appetito!