Are you in Florence suddenly craving something local, but also a quick snack to be eaten on the go without the need to sit down at a restaurant? Why not enjoy a traditional street food delicacy! Here’s a list of the local street food specialities you can’t help but try while in Florence:
1. Lampredotto: This is the Florentine street food par excellence. But watch out, it’s not for weak stomachs. Actually, it’s a cow’s fourth stomach, known as the ’abomaso’, cooked in a herb broth and most commonly served in a panino soaked in the broth or topped with the local parsley-based green sauce. Historically a poor man’s dish, it is still very popular in Florence today thanks to the numerous open-air kiosks known as “lampredottai”, extremely popular among Florentines as well as tourists who can’t wait to try this speciality, accompanied by the mandatory glass of wine.
2. Schiacciata: This simple focaccia baked in a wood oven and dressed with olive oil and salt is a great favourite of Florentines, who eat it simple or stuffed with salumi and cheeses, either as a quick lunch or substantial snack. Again, like many traditional Florentine recipes, it was made with leftovers – bread dough in this case – because nothing went to waste. In Florence, you’ll find it at any baker’s, but of course, everyone has their own preference: soft and well oiled, crisp and salty, or made with ancient grains. Just try it to decide which is your favourite!
3. Gelato: Legend has it that Florentines were the first to invent what we now know as ‘gelato’, a soft meld of minced ice and sugary flavours created by engineer Bernardo Buontalenti for Cosimo I de’ Medici. The Buontalenti is now a traditional ice-cream flavour in Florence: made only with the use of full-cream milk, fresh cream, eggs and sugar, it can be savoured both in a small cup or on an ice cream cone. Florentines love enjoying a gelato as an invigorating snack to be eaten on the go, or to simply refresh their mouths after a rich lunch.