- Posted September 3, 2013 by
Food Travel: Florence, Italy
The dining scene in Florence is quite diverse and offers everything from the traditional to the more experimental haute cuisine. Trattorias, cafes, and restaurants serve regional food with pride of local and fresh ingredients. A typical meal in Florence consists of many courses paired with wine. It includes an appetizer called an antipasto, a first course typically soup, stew or pasta and a main course with a side dish, and then capped off with a dessert.
Some of the local specialties you should not miss while in Florence are the crostini, which is crusty bread with a topping like tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, or chicken liver pate. Assorted salami, known as affettati misti, is also a common antipasto in most restaurants. For the first course, try a re-boiled hearty soup that is more like stew consisting of vegetables, tomatoes, and cannelloni beans poured over thick slices of day-old bread.
If you prefer pasta, try Florentine specialties like pasta al pomodoro (plain tomato sauce), spaghetti alla carretiera (spicy tomato sauce), crespelle Fiorentine (pasta crepes layered with cheese and béchamel sauce), or pappardelle al cinghiale (wide noodles in a wild boar sauce). For the main course, try Bistecca Forentina, a T-bone steak seasoned with olive oil and pepper. Other popular main courses include lombatina di vitello (veal chop), scallopine (veal cutlets), and involtini (steamed veal rolled with veggies). Order a contorno (side dish) to go with the main dish, which could be vegetables, grains, beans, or other starches. No meal is complete without a glass of red wine or white wine, which is commonly paired with a dish.
Some of the best ice cream in the world is made in Florence, known as gelato. You can go to gelato parlors for the best kinds and for a wide variety of homemade ice cream to choose from. For snacks, head to snack shacks called fiaschetterie, small cafes, or locals’ trattorie.