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The best of Florence’s street food

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

When on vacation in Florence, Tuscany, there are so many beautiful squares, museums, frescoes and shops to visit that you don’t have much time to go to a restaurant.

The best thing to do, instead of going to a busy and fattening fast food, is to eat typical Italian food at one of the numerous delicatessen stalls in the main markets in town.

1. Panini with lampredotto

The most distinctive Florentine street food is something that may sound disgusting but, believe me, once you have tasted it, you’ll want more: Panino con il lampredotto. Lampredotto is the final part of the cow’s stomach, and when it is stewed for hours, seasoned with hot red chili sauce or green parsley sauce and eaten inside a delicious Italian sandwich dipped in the broth, you just have to close your eyes and taste the flavors of Tuscany. The best places to find lampredotto are in Via Gioberti, Piazza Tanucci, San Frediano, and in two small villages near Florence, Grassina and Antella.

2. Frittelle di riso

Frittelle di riso (rice fritters) is another typical Italian food you can find along the streets of Florence: they are usually made for the feast of St. Joseph on 19th March, the day in which Italians celebrate Father’s day. The ingredients are: rice, milk, sultanas, pine nuts, eggs, rum, lemon zest, which give the fritters a delicious flavor you can smell from a long distance!

3. Panini with porchetta

You can also taste a tantalizing range of cheeses and cold cuts, and don’t forget to try a sandwich with porchetta, slices of a small pork which is roasted whole, heavily salted and stuffed with garlic and spices. Mercato Centrale in the heart of San Lorenzo is the ideal place to find a great number of delicatessen, and also to have a chat with very loquacious Italian vendors!

Photo of Florence food stall originally posted by phototram

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer elena bonelli

Born in Tuscany, in a small village among Perugia, Florence and Siena, Elena Bonelli is a lecturer of English Language at the Universities of Siena and Perugia. She also teaches in a Master for experts in Tourist and Gastronomic Communication.

7 responses to “The best of Florence’s street food”

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  1. Marion says:
    March 27th, 2008 at 16:03

    Nice article Elena! I’ve never tried panini with lampredotto, but I’ll surely do next time I go to Florence… Well, if I’ll be able to forget it’s cow’s stomach… :) Here in Rome we’re more used to eating panini with porchetta from Castelli Romani. Delicious!

  2. Emanu says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 11:28

    This post arrives just in time: I’ll be in Florence in april for the CHI2008 conference, and I’ll definitely try lampredotto!!!

  3. Jennifer says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 11:28

    Does anyone know the recipe for ‘frittelle di riso’?

  4. Elena says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 12:06

    Hi Jennifer, this is my grandmother’s recipe:
    350 g short grain rice, 1 l milk, grated lemon peel, 3-4 tbsp sugar, 3 eggs, 1 cup flour, 2 tbsp brandy (or vinsanto), 2 tsp baking powder.
    Cook the rice in milk (if necessary, add some water). When it’s cooked, let it cool down and add sugar and lemon peel. Stir in this mixture the egg yolks and brandy, then add the egg whites you have previously whipped. Add the flour and eventually the baking powder. Heat the frying oil and fry the frittelle until all sides are browned. Sprinkle some granulated sugar on them, close your eyes, and enjoy pure pleasure!!!
    (as I have written in the article, sultanas and pine nuts can be added to the recipe, but this is the basic recipe, the one I prefer!)

  5. Jennifer says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 20:15

    Thanks for the recipe Elena!

  6. someone says:
    April 7th, 2008 at 12:54

    Article is good and quite informative.. gr8 job

  7. Micaela says:
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:46

    Emanu if you are in Florence in April go as well to Latini (one of the oldest retaurants in Florence) and try as well Fiorentina and Ribollita or Pappa al Pomodoro !!!!! You will love it………


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