Italy is a foodie’s paradise! We spent 10 days traveling through Southern Italy- from Florence, though Tuscany, along the Amalfi coast and ended in Rome, sampling the sights and sounds, and of course the food and drink! This post is part 1 of a 3-part series of the food we ate and loved, in Eat-aly!
Here are some must try foods in Florence.
Bistecca alla Florentina: Florentine beef steak, which was first prepared for the wedding of Isabella de’ Medici, is seared on the outside and medium rare or rare inside. Eaten with artichokes or potatoes, its delicious!
Gnocchi with truffles: it is just impossible to go wrong with this, it was half gone before it even occurred to us to take a photograph!
Tripe: not for the squeamish or faint-hearted, but cooked with the right kind of sauce, it can be quite tasty. The texture takes some getting used to though.
Ribollita: a tasty potage, made with white beans and a number of vegetables, it makes a nice break from the meat and carbs that constitute most meals. It is also amazingly warming on a cold evening. While not available in most of the ubiquitous pizzerias, it is worth the effort of finding a local trattoria to try it.
Arancini: these are fried rice balls, stuffed with anything ranging from ham, cheese, salami, mushrooms, spinach, to the ones we tried with squid ink! They’re sinful and delicious!
Meat and cheese (and everything in between) at the Mercato Centrale. The central food market in Florence is a great place to sample small portions of a number of local dishes, including the famous lampredotto sandwich.
When it comes to desserts, the Italians have some of the best sweets we’ve eaten.
Panna cotta: Forget about the panna cotta you’ve eaten before. This has the perfect sweetness, a melt-in-your-mouth consistency- it cannot be resisted! Served with nuts or fruit compote, it is a must-have.
Creme brule with orange zest. Again, sweetened to perfection!
Cannoli: Piccolo or grande, filled with cream or chocolate, it is the perfect infusion of sugar to keep you going as you explore Florence. So versatile is the cannolo, that we had it at all times of the day, including breakfast, with an espresso to perfectly balance the sweetness!
And of course, wash it all down with a lip-smacking glass of Chianti from the Tuscan wineries! Salute!