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The city of Florence not only has a unique artistic and cultural heritage, but also offers a wide variety of recipes and local dishes that we strongly recommend tasting. There are numerous Florentine specialities made with simple but tasty ingredients, since Florentine cuisine is based on a centuries-old predominantly peasant tradition which makes it one of the best in Italy.
Starting with the antipasti, we recommend crostini with rabbit liver, crostoni with asparagus and Parma ham and, for those who love really strong flavours, crostini with leeks and gorgonzola, all with a drizzle of local Tuscan olive oil. Another antipasto you should try is fettunta, a simple slice of bread with salt and Tuscan olive oil. The delicious Tuscan hams, salamis and cured meats are accompanied by the famous pane sciapo (bread baked without salt).
Pappa col pomodoro and ribollita are two of Florentine cuisine's most typical first courses: garlic, oil, chilli pepper, chopped tomatoes and pane raffermo (bread which has "firmed up", but is not stale) are the basic ingredients of the pappa, a dish with a unique taste. Ribollita, on the other hand, is a soup made with vegetables and pane raffermo that is cooked the day before and reheated just before being served. Another soup you might like to try is carbaccia, an onion soup dating back to the 16th century consisting of broad beans, peas, pancetta and pecorino cheese as well as onions, ideal if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the onions. To complete the range of typical Florentine first courses, we recommend crespelle fiorentine, pancakes with a spinach and ricotta cheese filling covered with Béchamel sauce, a definite must-taste!
For a second course, if you like meat, you could try the world famous bistecca alla fiorentina. This is a top quality t-bone steak, 5-6 cm high, which is grilled for 5 minutes on each side and left rare inside.
Another dish that deserves a special mention is pollo al finocchio (chicken with fennel) where it is the highly distinctive flavour of fennel that makes this dish truly unique. Finally, patate alla contadina (country style potatoes) is one of the most traditional dishes that will make your stay in this wonderful city even more memorable. You can accompany these wonderful dishes with excellent Tuscan wines such as Chianti or Montepulciano.
For typical Florentine cakes, try castagnaccio made with chestnut flour and round-shaped Florentine frittelle flavoured with orange and Marsala.
To savour typical Florentine cuisine at its best, we recommend moving away from the historical centre because the best, less expensive restaurants are located on the outskirts of the city.