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AN ITALIAN ROADTRIP : THE BEST THING YOU CAN EVER EAT IN TUSCANY IS THE BISTECCA ALLA FLORENTINA

The Bistecca alla Florentina is a T-bone steak cooked the Florentine way. We know it does not sound too exciting. It didn't excite us too. We read from Elizabeth David that Tuscany is well known for its beef, just as Emilia-Romagna is well known for its pork (this is the region of Parma and all those fantastic hams and salumi). Beef... it is just beef isn't it?

And then we were online and our good friend Aj was salivating over the bistecca alla florentina when we said we were going to Tuscany. Ok, now, there has to be something about this steak. It cannot just be a piece of beef, can it?

This is Elizabeth David's writing on it :

"The true Florentine beef steak is a huge rib steak, similar to the American T-bone steak, from an animal not more than 2 years old. Nowhere in Italy are the steaks so good, so full of flavor and at the same time so tender as in Tuscany.

The steak is grilled over a charcoal fire and seasoned with salt after cooking. It has no need of any adornment except perhaps a little good butter placed on the top as it is served, and it is so large that there is no room, nor any necessity, for a vegetable on the plate with it."

We ordered this when we were in Florence. Many restaurants serve this by the grams. It is a prime piece of beef. We managed to find this place to serve it for a fixed price. It is of course, also a measured piece of steak. And they do not ask how you like your steak. If you order Bistecca alla Florentina, it will always come rare. If you order it in another way, we would suggest you eat a plate of pasta. This piece of steak demands respect!

Mr Washy tasted our steak and he was jealous. He could not get it out of his mind. We found a char grill in the apartment we were staying and decided to buy some T-bones. Yes, it is that good. It is expensive to get it in a restaurant and a fraction to cook it for yourself.

HERE IS WHY :

If you ever want to get a piece of steak in Italy to prepare a good Bistecca alla Florentina for yourself, this is the dog's bollocks you have to look out for.

WHAT IS VITELLONE?
Elizabeth David : 'Vitellone is the older animal, generally from one to three years, but which has never been made to work. As you know, oxen are used in Italy for work in the fields, and that is the only reason for so much tough meat on the market. It would be too costly to keep animals which are reared solely for consumption gorging themselves and loafing after they are fully grown, so they are slaughtered young in this country, which explains why the only really good, tender meat to be found is vitellone, that is to say young beef.'

Oh, Mr Washy tried the steak again when we were in Bologna. It was not the same. We guess you really have to be in the middle of Tuscany for this special treat. Oh no, we are missing it.

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