Tuscan – and, in particular, Florentine – cuisine is famous for its simple magniffcence. The apparent contradiction between simplicity and richness is happily resolved in the culinary tradition of our “contradas“, which is distinguished precisely for its capacity to exalt fundamental flavours and aromas to a maximum. Everything is based on the quality and freshness of the ingredients.

The preparations most frequently encountered in the typical trattorias and restaurants in Florence are “crostini”, small slices of bread spread with a mixture of chicken livers and beef milt; “ribollita” and “pappa col pomodoro’: characteristic “dry soups” prepared with leftover bread and vegetables; “Florentine-style steak” or just “Fiorentina“, obtained from a very special cut of beef (the animal is of the “Chianina” breed), which is always very thick: it is charcoal-grilled and served rare;”arista”, a cut of pork, with or without bone, that is oven roasted; beans, simply boiled and dressed with crude olive oil, or “all’uccelletto”, i.e. with tomato and sage.

Among the desserts, the very well-known “biscotti di Prato“, hard biscuits with almonds, to be accompanied with Vin Santo. Speaking of wines, it is probably useless to emphasise the great oenological wealth of the region, which includes world-famous products. Naturally, many of the city’s reataurants also serve different dishes from the typically local ones: currently, there is – here as elsewhere – a great diffusion of the socalled “creative cuisine”, which leaves a wide margin to the imagination of the individual chefs.

Article by Massimiliano Marzi

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