A Florentine favorite, this tripe-like dish is unique to Florence, where it is sold throughout town at street-side stalls as well as in restaurants and paninotecas. If Florence had only one flavor, this would be it. Bistecca Fiorentina may be more famous, and easier to stomach, but it is this, the fourth stomach of the cow which is the true taste of Florence. Small two-person sidewalk stands selling lampredotto and tripe (its cousin, from the third stomach) populate many nooks and crannies and all the major markets throughout town. Just follow your nose, to paraphrase from Jimmy Toucan, you can find them by smell alone. This has been the city’s street food for centuries.
It comes in two major variations: a plate of stewed lampredotto, or more popular, the sandwich. You want the sandwich, here is how it is done. Boil the lampredotto until tender in a broth with aromatics (onion, celery, tomato). Slice a crusty French-style roll in half horizontally, hollow out the top. Select some lampredotto from the broth and slice into thin strips. Place it on the bottom half of the roll. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon fresh salsa verde (parsley, garlic, olive oil sauce) and chili oil on top. Dip the top half of the roll in the broth. Cover sandwich. Wrap first in plastic and then in copious paper napkins. Eat carefully! And savor! The last bites are always the best because they have absorbed all the juices from the meat and the contrasting salsa verde and chili sauce.
Recommended: Tripperia Pier Paolo Pollini. Via de’ Macci (corner of Borgo La Croce), Florence. tel: 334 7782350. Open until 3pm, Closed Sunday.