The Tuscan cuisine and especially the Florentine cuisine is famous throughout the world. In addition to traditional recipes and dishes known everywhere even with their Italian name (e.g. "ribollita"), there are some specialties that many foreigners ignore.
After a day visiting museums and shopping, you can choose a “rustic trattoria” - perhaps sharing the table with other customers – tasting Tuscan specialties.
Typically, the Florentine people never start a meal from the main course but always have a starter first.
Whether eating in a restaurant or at home with friends you will always find the liver "crostini" (thin sliced toasted bread with liver patè) on the table.
What are they? A sauce made with chicken livers, butter, capers, anchovies, onion and broth, which is spread on warm bread and literally devoured.
Alongside the liver “crostini” the Tuscan antipasto also offers different types of sliced salamis and hams. Both "national" (ham, salami) which are the specialties of Florence: finocchiona. A salami sausage similar to salamis (but larger in diameter), which takes its name from the fennel and is served thickly cut.
Pasta lovers can try the pappardelle (similar to spaghetti, it is a thicker pasta made with egg) with boar sauce (a wild animal that is still in the woods of Tuscany) or hare.
It can be seasoned with other classic ingredients: porcini mushrooms, meat sauces, artichokes, sausages, etc.
Other famous Tuscan first course dishes are the soups: pappa al pomodoro, ribollita, carabaccia, black cabbage soup.
These are all variations of a single base (vegetables, bread or tomato) to which gradually added some ingredients to make it more tasty have been gradually added. It must be enjoyed warm with a little extra virgin olive oil and - if you wish - fresh ground black pepper.
The most famous dish is surely the Florentine steak. Thick. cooked undone, this steak is a real institution.
There are butchers that love it so much to the extent that they have written poems, like the famous Dario Cecchini of Panzano in Chianti.
The thing that most surprises people that do not live in Florence, is this undone meat, nearly raw, which impresses many tourists. But a Florentine steak must be ate only slightly cooked. Accompanied by white beans, roasted potatoes or a tender salad.
Florence has not got many great traditions in cakes but “steals" dessert from nearby Prato: cantucci (small almond biscuits) to eat at end of a meal dipped in Vinsanto. Or in the colder seasons, the castagnaccio, takes its name from the nearby mountains , a thin cake, made of chestnut flour and pine nuts.
During Carnival (or after the Epiphany and before Lent) you can find the schiacciata alla fiorentina, a soft sweet like sponge cake which can be filled with cream, cream or chocolate and covered with icing sugar.