Secound course

Second course – il Secondo

Cacciagione game, salsicce (sausages) and bistecca (beef steak) are the main regional meats, although there is good lamb about as well – agnellino nostrali, which is locally raised lamb. Also common are coniglio (rabbit) where it usually comes served roasted with pine nuts. Another favourite is pollo (chicken), cinghiale (boar), lepre (hare) and fagiano (pheasant). The famous bistecca alla fiorentina is a huge T-Bone steak, usually served very rare and quite big enough for two or sometimes even three people.

The steak comes from the chianina stock; it is thick cut, weighs not less than 800gm and is cooked on the grill. They are priced according to weight, on the menu you will see the price per kilo and so don’t be surprised when the bill comes and the steak costs 30 euros. Italy is world famous for its pizza and pizzerias can be found in almost every nook and cranny of Florence and the rest of Tuscany. Each pizzeria makes its own pizza and Florentine crusts tend to be thin and crispy, cooked in a wood fuelled oven. If you prefer the “traditional” Neapolitan pizza, it is almost always possible to ask for a pizza with doppia pasta (double crust), which means you’ll get a softer, thicker crust.

Side dish- Il contorno

To accompany the meat course, Florentines normally order a side plate of vegetables or a salad. Fagiolini (green beans) are likely to be boiled and dressed with olive oil, garlic and chilli pepper and lemon or vinegar. The lovely white Tuscan fagioli are served lukewarm with olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper. Pattatine fritte or french fries, are unsurprisingly available almost everywhere, through bolied potatoes dressed with oil, pepper and capers are more the tastier choice amongst the Florentines. Pomodori (tomatoes) and cipolle (onions) sliced, spice and baked al forno (in the oven) are reccommended. A great range of salads are available, from the normal lettuce and tomato, the Florentines do great salads with mozzarella, rucola (rocket), olives, maize and carrot. In early summer, artichokes are often eaten raw, stripped of their tough outer leaves and dipped into olive oil and salt.

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