Lampredotto sandwhich in Florence
In Florence, as in the rest of Italy, food is good. There are many traditional dishes, but there is one that is very special, unique in all Italy: the sandwich better say “panino” with lampredotto.
The name derives from the “lampreda”, a type of fish that once was very abundant in the waters of the Arno river, that lampredotto reminds in its shape.
It is a poor dish both because of the ingredients used and because of its origin. In fact it was the meal of the poorest peasants or workers because they had to eat quickly and with little expense. Eventually lampredotto can also be considered the first fast food in history. There are indeed records of lunch places where to have tripe already in the 15th century. By the 19th century, the cooked tripe was sold from painted wooden carts, where you can go also today.
But what is it exactly?
Lampredotto is one of the four stomachs of a caw: the abomasum. It consists of two parts: one thin, the “gala”, that is characterized by small ridges (called gala) with a strong flavor and a second more greasy part, called spannocchia, that has a lighter colour and softer taste.
It is cooked for a long time in water along with tomato, onion, parsley and celery. Once cooked, you can eat it like a normal boiled meat seasoned with green sauce.
But the real Florentines prefer it cut into small pieces and then stuffed in a sandwich (only use unsalted Tuscan bread), whose upper portion is generally soaked in the broth of the lampredotto and seasoned with salt, pepper and green sauce.
In the city there are many “trippai” (where lampredotto is sold).
I recommend 2 places that according to my husband, a real gourmet, are the best in town. Orazio in the corner of the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, right next to the porcellino and the historic Nerbone inside the Central Market which is located only a short walk from Hotel Kursaal & Ausonia.
How to order lampredotto:
When you order the sandwich you are asked:
1. How would you like it to be seasoned?
The Florentine answer is: “with salt and pepper” – because remember that now there are green and other spicy sauces.
2. “wet?” that is to say: Would you like that one part of the sandwich is dipped in the broth?
The answer of a true Florentine is, with a self satisfied smile, a happy “Yes, please!”
Take this opportunity to experience this economic and very traditional food and pretend to be a real Florentine!