Italian Cuisine: Our Gastronomic Feat in Florence

 
I will tell you about a lovely restaurant in Florence, Italy, where, following our friend’s advice, my wife, Irina, and I tasted the pearl of Italian cuisine—Steak Florentine. I will also share some of our gastronomic impressions of Italy as well.

Our dance near Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy.
Our dance near Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy.

The gastronomic part of our trips is very important for cultural acquaintance with new countries. Our first car trip around Italy started on May 6, 2009. The second city on our way was Florence. I don’t even plan to bother you with comments on the famous pieces of art located in this city. Italy is a fabulous, fantastic country/museum. I like painting, but I still cannot distinguish one school from another, therefore today, we will speak about something that will probably inspire you for Gargantua’s deeds.

Italian cuisine. A lunch.
Italian lunch

Before our first trip to Italy, we knew at least three myths about Italian cuisine:

– Italy has the best coffee in the world.
– Italy is glorious for its unsurpassed desserts and, of course, Tiramisu.
– Italy has very tasty ice cream!

How many of them were confirmed?

Italian coffee is delicious. Being a real coffee fan, I bindingly confirm that. However, at home, we make coffee in a cezve, and it is not worse, although we get it from the former Yugoslavia.

Coffee and profiteroles. Italian cuisine. Verona, Italy.
Coffee and profiteroles

Profiteroles…. Yummy. But Tiramisu is not worse in other countries, if it is truly made with mascarpone and Marsala.

Coffee and Tiramisu. Italian cuisine. Florence, Italy.
Coffee and Tiramisu

We had instructions from experienced travel bloggers: you need to taste white beefsteak in Florence, make sure you tasted Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine-Style Steak), and your life will be filled with meaning, and so on. Therefore right on the first evening in Florence, we entered a pleasant trattoria and ordered carpaccio, salad, wine, unique Steak Florentine, and asked them to leave a menu to choose desserts later.

Italian cuisine. Trattoria in Florence, Italy.

The next day, I recalled the honesty, politeness, and tact of our waiter who unsuccessfully tried to persuade “signor and signora” to be satisfied with a beefsteak, salad, and a jug of wine. But we didn’t listen.

When we finished our big carpaccio, enormous salad, warm bruschetta, a jug of wine, and were almost full, the main course appeared. It was brought on a trolley and was so big that it looked like a whole roasted cow.

Steak Florentine. Florence, Italy.
Just like in Wonderland: “Alice, meet Bistecca alla Fiorentina [only a small part of it]. Beefsteak, meet Alice.”

It could be only eaten by a real hero. I reflectively told the waiter, “In this case, one more jug of wine, Per Favore,” pulled out a sword (well … a fork) and plunged into the thick of battle. We both struggled with this huge steak until midnight, closing time of the trattoria. The next day, I wanted something to eat only in the evening.

After such an experiment, we became a bit more careful with menus. I preferred pasta, trying to choose only one dish from all the listings in three or four sheets of menu. Irina tested fish, seafood, and seasonal asparagus.

My advice: If you want to eat one portion of Steak Florentine, take a couple of friends with you.

It is a pity that we did not try courgettes floret fritters, they were out of season.
The third myth about Italian cuisine also was confirmed: Italy really has the best ice-cream in the world!!!

Italian ice cream.
Italian ice cream is the best in the world. Yes!

It was a really marvelous, but too short trip. One week in Italy is not enough, even if you use a rented car instead of the tourist bus. Milan—Florence—San Gimignano—Dozza—Venice—Verona—Como—Maggiore, and as a gift from our intelligent friend (I mean our GPS-navigator)—Swiss Lugano! On the way from Verona to Lake Maggiore, we found ourselves in Switzerland two times. Was it a special feature of work of this gadget in small Alpine towns, or did it select the shortest and, according to its view, the best routes, but when Irina noticed the signboard “Arrivederci, Italia” the third time (!!!), she begged me to take us straight to Maggiore, bypassing Switzerland which we already visited twice that day.

I hope you will return to Italy as often as possible! Have a safe journey!

More about cuisine:

The Best, but Cheapest Trout Farm in the World
Two Wonderful Excursions: Swiss Cheese and Swiss Chocolate
Our Dinner in the Michelin Restaurant Eskis in Lyon, France

56 thoughts on “Italian Cuisine: Our Gastronomic Feat in Florence

  1. Haha, sounds like fun. I’m a Slovenian living in Tuscany, and I’m curious about your coffee which you say you get from ex-Yugoslavia. Where do you buy it? Do you know where exactly it comes from? As for your Italian experience, sounds yummy. I have yet to order a Fiorentino in a restaurant. Good to know to be careful. 😀

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    1. I can buy coffee in any shop in Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, or Serbia, and it will be the best I have ever tasted. However, I understand what you mean. I know that coffee trees grow only in Africa and South America, and it’s all about processing its grains.
      Hvala puno, Manja.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nema na čemu. I was thinking about which is your favourite brand to buy. I always bring Slovenian Barcaffe back home to Tuscany from my visits. 🙂 Italians make fun of it a little but I don’t care. They think they have the best coffee in the world, as you know. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I like any brand, but Irina, my wife, prefers Franck Jubilarna and Zlatna Dzezva, both are from Bosnia.
          Italians think everything in the World is best in Italy, and they are right in most cases, but not in case of coffee.
          In summer, I see many Italians in Budva, Montenegro, and always think: when they drink our coffee, do they feel that it is better than in Italy?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely pictures! Makes me want to get back to Italy, and this time bring my best friend/husband. When I visited Italy I was on a tight budget, so mostly ate caprese salad at every meal. Which was wonderful, by the way!

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  3. Next time in Florence – you will have to try a few other traditional foods which won’t necessarily fill your plate as much as the Bistecca – but they will tantalize the taste buds. One of my personal favorites include (because yes there are many!!) Peposo – a type of beef stew which is a little heavy on the pepper … thus the name “pep” oso.

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  4. Florence, well known to me as Firenze after I became so involved in the Assassin’s Creed game series. I would very much love to visit Florence, Venice and Tuscany. And these pictures have only made me more crazy about the place. Thanks to you, Victor.

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  5. Astonishing photo! And wow, I haven’t been to Italy yet (god knows why all around the world but Italy!) but you’re making me wanting to book a trip now now now! And oh, the world’s best ice cream makes me crave to skip down and buy a whole tub of each flavor!

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  6. Good stuff! That first photo is great too. The steak looks like the type of thing you could order between 4, outrageous portion, but it looks delicious. I’m a big fan of ice cream too, I guess I need to get myself to Italy…

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  7. Your picture of the tree roots is cool. Love it. I have also seen simlar roots of exposed trees in various convoluted poses on steep side slopes of the Salmon River in Idaho. Oh, and in keeping with the theme of your story, the roots I discovered were found while chasng chukars (upland game bird) around the hill. Sauteed in butter, spicy peppers, panko, and a secret ingredient, they are a mouth watering delicacy rivaling anything even a fancy resturant could muster up. Oh yes, “eating,” one of lifes many fine pleasures.

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  8. I just looooooooooove the Italian ice-cream. Every time I buy one I choose diferent flavours (not all the time I know what every flavour means, but I succeed to creat a great ice-cream every time). On 15 December I have a flight to Italy (Venice)…I can’t wait to try their food and ice-cream (even if it’s winter).:D

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      1. Italian? hmm…I hope not. 😀 Italian women are not very…pretty.

        PS: I didn’t eat ice-cream (gelato) there. It was too cold. 😦 On the other hand, I ate a lot of pizza and pasta. ;))

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