Mamma Ma said to me, “Justine, what about the tripe carts? We need to try the florentine tripe.” Have you ever heard someone so enthusiastic about eating the stomach lining of a cow?
Okay don’t answer that. We already discussed that Food Curiosity is genetic.
Just as excited to try the local food, I went to Nerbone’s in Mercato Centrale (Florence, Italy), quite early in the morning with Mamma Ma, to avoid long lines and to taste lampredotto (florentine tripe) for the very first time (helloooo breakfast!).
Unsure about the flavor, I asked the man behind the counter to prepare it the way he’d eat it. With the nod of his head, lampredotto was served hot on a plate, chopped into thin slices, paired with spicy red cayenne sauce (my preference) as well as green pesto sauce, salted, and re-soaked in brisket juices.
BTW, let’s not forget the bread. He served it to me “bagnato“, which means he dunked the bread into the beef juices to give it extra flavor, mmm mmm! After watching this plate being put together, I took a deep breath and went for it.
Verdict? If I had a bandana over my eyes, I would’ve thought that I was eating thin slices of spicy beef in broth! Surprisingly pleased with the taste, but a bit confused by the texture; the actual stomach lining was a bit chewy… however, I’m pretty sure every meat-eater would devour this if they “didn’t know what it was” because it’s delicious!
I mean, I’ll admit that “cow stomach lining” does not sound like the most appetizing dish (and it kinda doesn’t look that great on the plate), but, I’d totally eat “cow stomach lining” over a McDonald’s hamburger.
Which would you choose?