What is Lampredotto? It is the institutional Florentine food. You may now find it elsewhere in Tuscany, but it’s been in the Florentine tradition for centuries until few years ago when it became more widespread. It is a connoisseur food, although it belongs to the popular Tuscan food tradition. You can always find it between piazza del Mercato and piazza San Lorenzo in Florence during weekdays, at the mobile kiosk sandwich station that makes freshly prepared Lampredotto panini with fresh Tuscan bread. These food suppliers on wheels are the descendants of a glorious tradition that for centuries in Florence has provided food in this manner, always ready to serve the noble lord and peasant, under the shade of rich noble palaces.
Lampredotto is not to be mistaken for Trippa, although who has the latter also has the former and vice-versa. They are two very distinct dishes prepared in a very different way. In addition, you can add condiments of your liking to lampredotto, while trippa is eaten as is after cooking. The green sauce, made with boiled egg, olive oil, and lots of parsley, is an excellent match for lampredotto.
Lastly, the lampredotto can be served ‘bagnato’ or wet. When the person preparing the sandwich asks you if you want is ‘bagnato’ you should answer YES, as the top portion of the sandwich will be dunk in the sauce where the lampredotto was cooked, therefore it will be served to you all dripping with the tasty sauce. At least you should know what this means, right?
So, what is it? But maybe the most curious would like to know what are the ingredients of lampredotto. The main ingredient is the abomasus (also known as fourth stomach or the rennet stomach) of the veal. This ingredient make the lampredotto an excellent item of the poor origins of Tuscan cooking. Already during the 13th century poorer people could purchase entrails such as this for few cents. The stomach is cooked in a vegetable broth with onion, celery, tomatoes, and parsley sticks. A low heat, lengthy cooking process ensures tender meat and delicious taste. The lampredotto is now cut in thin stripes and set in the sandwich for you to enjoy!