A Jet Set Lifestyle: Local foods Part III Florentine Bistecca – Florence, Italy

I’m not going to lie.  I’m a meat eater.  I do care about animals and my health and I stay away from meat as often as I can, but sometimes I just have an intense craving for it.  One of my favorite places to give into the craving is in Florence.  Florentine Bistecca is one of the absolute best things I have ever had, if it’s done right. Florentine Bistecca is a T-bone steak which usually comes from one of two breeds of cattle, the the Chianina or Maremmana. For the steak to be made in the traditional style it is grilled over a wood or charcoal fire.  It is simply seasoned with salt. (Sometimes black pepper.) Olive oil is added right after the meat comes off of the heat. Florentine Bistecca  is served very rare.  I know a lot of people don’t like their steak rare (I do) but know that traditionally after cooking 3-5 minutes on each side it is usually stood vertically on it’s bone for 5-7 minutes which helps to drain the blood (which is what bothers most people about rare) out of it. If you are of age, and don’t have a drinking problem I suggest you have your steak with a nice Chianti because red wine goes well with red meats and Chianti is part of the Tuscan region of Italy and goes nicely with a Florentine Bistecca.  Many times people will get Tuscan beans as a side dish I personally get roasted potatoes.  As my first course I always start the meal with paradelle (my favorite pasta) with a wild boar sauce. Note that the Florentine Bistecca is usually a large cut of meat and priced by the gram, so many times due to size and/or expense people share this dish.  Some places will not even serve it to solo travelers. (This has happened to me personally.)

The website Visit Florence has a few suggestions of places to try a Florentine Bistecca if you should find yourself in Florence. If you know your way around a kitchen you may want to try one of the 5 star rated recipes of Michael Chiarello’s, Giada De Laurentiis, or Memorie di Angelina.

Have you had a Florentine Bistecca in Florence?  Where did you go?  What did you think?  Any resturants you would suggest trying or staying away from for Florentine Bistecca either in Florence or elsewhere?  Have you tried making one?  Care to share what recipe you used?

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