Tripe recipe made Florentine way (called in Italian “Trippa alla Fiorentina”) is one of the most challenging dishes of Tuscan cuisine: hell or heaven for any foodie who wants to explore the Florentine traditions deeply.
The people of Florence love tripe and consider this recipe the Queen of street food: along with “Lampredotto”, “Trippa alla Fiorentina” is served in almost any corner on the streets of Florence.
The tripe is reduced into stripes then slow cooked into tomatoes sauce and completed with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
If you are planning a few days in Florence, consider accepting the challenge to eat as real “Fiorentino” does!
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WHAT IS TRIPE?
Tripe is one of the most ancient proteins used into the history of cuisine.
It is the muscle wall of three of the four stomach of the cow: the Rumen, the Reticulum, and the Omasum. The fourth stomach named Abomasum is not commonly used to prepare the Tripe, but essential to making another popular Florentine delight: the Lampredotto.
Besides the cow, tripe also derives from sheep, pork, and lamb.
I know what some of you are thinking: disgusting!
Ok, the explanation of what is tripe is not really inviting, but believe me, if processed and cooked properly, tripe is delicious!
It is prepared in dozens of countries around the world, and there are plenty of traditional tripe recipes for each country: so I strongly suggest you give it a try!
THE TRIPE INTO THE HISTORY OF CUISINE
As I said, the tripe is cooked and eaten since the beginning of time. In the Ancient Greece the tripe was commonly grilled over fire pits; meanwhile, the Romans introduced the use of tripe into sausages.
Tripe was also traditionally appreciated in Basque territory (Tripakiak), Galicia (Tripas), Germain (Streifen), Galles (Treip), France (Tripes), and Britannia (Stripen). The proto-Germanic word to indicate the tripe (Stripanan) means stripe in English, and derives from the way to cut and serve this meat.
Tripe is often present into the Asian cuisines like Indonesian, Chinese, and Filipino. This cut of meat is also common into African and South American cuisines.
In short, to resume in a single sentence: tripe is worldwide famous!
THE “QUINTO QUARTO”
In Italy, tripe belongs to the famous Quinto Quarto selection. In the past, the meat was traditionally selected into four parts called Quarti (plural of Quarto).
The First Quarto, composed of the prime cuts, was meant for the nobles.
Second Quarto was reserved for the clergy.
Third Quarto was a destinated to the upper class.
The Fourth Quarto, eventually, was to feed the army.
And the poor people? At this point, the creativity of Italian cooks honed their abilities with what were considered the worst cuts of meat; tongues, oxtails, sweetbreads, and tripe! The history proved them right: these underestimated cuts become a fundamental part of the classic Italian cuisine, and a must-to-try to be truly considered an Italian foodie!
THE TRADITION OF THE FLORENTINE TRIPE
The legend says, Trippa alla Fiorentina has been invented in San Frediano, the traditional working-class district in Florence.
Here is still possible take a break from the most touristic part of the Tuscan capital and wander between old workshops and traditional family restaurants (click here to read where and what to eat in Florence).
But, besides the restaurant, the locals love eating the Trippa on the streets: Florentine Tripe is indeed the queen of the Florentine street food!
On the streets of Florence, there are plenty of carts named “I Trippai“, specialized in the sale of Quinto Quarto dishes: Lampredotto (if tripe is the Queen, Lampredotto is the king!), tongue salad, spleen patè crostini, and obviously Trippa!
For some people Florentine tripe can be tough to try, but eating at a Trippaio on the streets of San Frediano, speaking with the locals and dinking a glass of wine, is one of the most authentic experiences you can live in Florence.
People of Florence are very proud of this way to share some time, and they respect more who try to understand their culinary traditions.
THE SECRETS OF THE FLORENTINE TRIPE
Precooked or Raw Tripe: clean and process the raw tripe is a long, and stincky, and difficult step; so, tripe is commonly sold precooked. Anyway, it’s always good boil the tripe 10 to 20 minutes into a mixture of water and white wine vinegar before using, eliminating any trace of bad smell.
Tuscan Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano? On the contrary of what you might think, the traditional recipe does not require any Tuscan cheese, but just Parmigiano-Reggiano. A touch of Emilia into a Tuscan classic!
Butter or Extra-Virgin Olive Oil? Even if several Italian recipes of tripe requires butter, the Trippa alla Fiorentina is prepared exclusively with Tuscan olive oil.
Bay leaves or Basil? Florentine Tripe is commonly is flavored with Italian bay leaves, but Sweet Basil lives are often added, particularly during the summer.
Which bread serve with Florentine Tripe? Commonly Trippa alla Fiorentina is served in a bowl along with Tuscan bread slices. Often, however, the Trippai sell also Panini stuffed with trippa: in this case, they prefer using a bread typical of Lombardy called Rosetta.
THE “TRIPPA ALLA FIORENTINA” RECIPE
PREPARE THE “SOFFRITTO”
TRIPE RECIPE “ALLA FIORENTINA”
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 466 Total Fat 36g Saturated Fat 7g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 27g Cholesterol 65mg Sodium 320mg Carbohydrates 12g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 2g Sugar 5g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 16g
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