September With the summer sun burning
just a little less brightly, we settle back into one of the
busiest months of the year. Scents and sensibilities is the
theme of the month, with a perfume fair, numerous wine events
and back-to-school in the air.
September in Florence and Tuscany offers a myriad of events,
fairs and fun, so keep your eyes out for posters with dates
and times for some great parties like Borgo San Lorenzos
Sagra della Ficattola featuring fried bread puffs stuffed
with various salumi. Yum! (from Sept. 5 to 7th, every evening
beginning at 7:30 pm, just in case you were wondering).
SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI and KIMBERLY send out our very
One of the handiest pointers we may ever pass along (so here
we are doing it again), is the Italian way of spelling, a
system especially handy for communicating by phone. When you
are asked to please sillibare a name or word,
blaze ahead with the following system:
In English we say S as in Sam. In Italian one
simply says Sam or rather, Savona.
For example, to spell the name Kim, say Kappa, Imola,
Torino. Most Italians use the same set of words (or
nearly). Here is our tried and true list. We suggest leaving
a copy of this list by all your phones.
X Eeks (rhymes with weeks)
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Our friend Victoria B. introduced Suzanne to one of her favorite
Florentine restaurants Ristorante Ratatouille. The food is
an over view of Tuscan specialties, with a very modern twist.
Both seafood (insalata di Polpo) and meats are well represented.
Add an excellent quality/price rapport and one of the only
chances in Florence to get fois-gras
got something to look into on your next special occasion.
Il Ristorante Ratatouille. Viale Corsica, 31/R. 055 3248599
THUMBS UP THUMBS DOWN Our Readers Right
Our Thumbs up, Thumbs down column is your chance
to write us and share your own ideas and information, or to
toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations
that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note:
all opinions are (usually) strictly those of our readers.
Lend us your thoughts! Suzanne,
Following up on a note from our friends Mimi and Ed, citing
msnbcs claim that along with banh mi in Ho Chi Minh
City, tacos from San Miguel de Allende, and currywurst in
Berlin, one of the best street foods in the world is a tripe
sandwich from a tripe cart in Florence. So of course, we did
a little exploration of our own. First, word from msnbc:
The dish: Tripe sandwiches
Where to find the best: Florence, Italy
Word on the street: Florentines adore their traditional peasant
dishes, shining examples of how Tuscan ingenuity can transform
even the humblest ingredients into the sublime. Take tripe,
for instance: Even if you're not an avid consumer of cow stomach,
when you're in Florence we urge you to close your eyes, take
a bite, and become a convert. Florentines stew their tripe
with garlic and aromatics until meltingly tender, then tuck
it into a crusty roll and enliven it with either chile-laced
red sauce or a zippy salsa verde made with capers, parsley,
and anchovies. Everyone has a favorite spot, such as Civiltà
della Trippa, a stand in the northwest part of Florence, or
the cart in the Piazzale di Porta Romana run by a seasonally
inclined fellow who adds artichokes to his sandwiches during
the spring. Before you know it, you'll be ordering yours bagnatodipped
in the tripe's cooking liquidas many locals do. Civiltà
della Trippa, 13 Via Benedetto Dei.
P & F say Our explorations revealed a few other
stands worth mentioning. Remember, you might really like it,
and if not, your entire investment was probably under 4 euros.
Its worth the risk. Florentine tripe stands are generally
open from 9 am. to 6:30 or 7:30 pm and closed Sundays. Beyond
the few we have mentioned here, there are lots of others,
so dont hesitate. It may be your very best chance to
truly eat with the locals.
Mario Albergucci, in piazza di Porta Romana (he would be the
seasonally included fellow), has the belly of
a perfect host, and a great variety of tripe options to choose
from including regular tripe, lampredotto and also poppa (udder).
On the corner of Via dell'Ariento and Via San Antonio, in
the middle of the kiosks of the San Lorenzo market, say hello
to the very friendly Beatrice at her tripe cart .
On the corner of Via dei Macci and Borgo La Croce, just a
stones throw from the other Florence market
place SantAmbrogio, Sergio Pollini runs a really popular
trip cart made from an ancient Ape.
Close to the American Express office, stop by the Trippaio,
on Via Dante Alighieri near Via dei Cerchi.
A Firenze facevo il trippaio
Mi è successo un grossissimo guaio
Mi moglie una donna piacente
Dava a tutti la trippa per niente
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Tripe is one of the most traditional dishes of Florence. Here
is one version of Trippa alla Fiorentina serves 6
1 kg cleaned and boiled tripe
500 gr. fresh or canned tomatoes
1 or 2 onions
1 or 2 carrots
1 stalk celery
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Chop the onion, carrot and celery and sauté over low
heat. Cut the boiled tripe into strips, add to the pan and
sauté for 5 minutes. Add fresh, chopped (or canned)
tomatoes and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened
(15 or 20 minutes). Serve with a sprinkling of parmigiano
and/or extra-virgin olive oil.