If we had to describe Florence’s food in only 3 words, we would say – Chianti, Florentine steak and Focaccia.
Italy is a great gourmet destination, but to enjoy it at its best, it is good to know the basics of each region’s typical cuisine and wines. And trust us, in Italy it can vary enormously even between the smallest villages.
This time we are exploring the cuisine of Tuscany and its cultural capital Florence. This region has a lot to offer. It is famous for its excellent quality Florentine-style steak (Bistecca alla Fiorentina) and sophisticated red wines, with Chianti Classico as the number one of course. You will also find a great selection of bread. In Italy there are at least 20 types of bread starting with classic white bread (Ciabatta), pizza bread (Focaccia), through to Taralli – small bread rings made with white wine!
Florentine-style cooking is the treasure of Tuscany. The natural landscape means that the best meat in the whole of Italy is produced here. The same can be said about the famous Chianti, a delicious wine to which Tuscany is home.
It is hard to suggest just one restaurant where you can experience a true Tuscan-style dinner. Most eating places in Florence are good. Take a look at Parione (Via del Parione, 74/76R), Sostanza (Via del Porcellana, 25) or Alla Vecchia Bettola (Viale Ariosto, 32/34). Once you have chosen the restaurant, your gourmet journey can begin.
The most traditional Florentine restaurants will finish cooking your steak on a grill right in front of your eyes. Mostly it is cooked rare. Don’t add oil or lemon. From the Italian point of view the steak will be ruined! The most you can add is pepper. Florentine-style meat is cooked with a little bit of salt. We suggest enjoying it with Chianti.
If you are planning to enjoy the true spirit of Tuscany when you have ordered a Florentine steak for dinner, try to skip the appetiser and bread before it. We know it is hard to avoid the tempting piece of delicious focaccia or a glass of wine with an aperitif in one of the small bars on your way to the restaurant, but be patient. A Florentine steak weighs about 700 grams and is worth waiting for every bite!