Friday, 19 June 2009

Food Adventures in Florence: Part III

Fruit and Vegetable Stall in the Central Market

One day we checked out the Central Market in Florence, and bought some goodies for a picnic later in the day. We got bread, ham, cheese, olives and strawberries, and stole some butter from the hotel breakfast buffet to make sandwiches. We tried to eat our picnic in the Boboli Gardens, but they wouldn't let us in with food. This meant we went on a 8 mile hike around southern Florence looking for a good picnic spot. We eventually found a rose garden on the way up to San Miniato al Monte, only to find later that the back gate to the Boboli wasn't guarded with x-ray scanners and security staff, but a rather bored man in a hut who barely checked our tickets. So, if you want to picnic with the Medicis, the Belvedere entrance is the answer.

Tripe and other unidentified body parts

The market was excellent, a real paradise for foodies! I wish there was somewhere like that near here. Practically every meat stall had tripe for sale, which is apparently a Florentine speciality. There was also a pork stall selling ears, tongues, heads, tails and trotters, and another stall selling horse meat. I think if you are going to eat meat you shouldn't be precious about what you eat. There is no difference between killing a cow or pig and eating it than eating a cat, or horse, or dog. Plus if you are going to go to all that trouble, you might as well get your money's worth and eat the offal. Yum. (Although it was far too early in the morning for me to be brave enough to try a tripe burger.)

Miniature tartlette in Dolcissima

While wandering around the Oltrarno artisan district, we found a old fashioned bakery called Dolcissima. We'd just eaten, so weren't in the mood for anything too big. Instead I got a miniature tart of custard and baby raspberries. It was small but perfectly formed, and made me wish I lived nearby so I could buy boxes of these for parties.

Pizza with Capers and Anchovies

We couldn't go to Italy without trying some pizza, so we headed to Gusta pizza. The poor €:£ rate meant we were keen for a cheap meal, and we'd seen the wood buning oven in Gusta pizza while wandering around earlier in the day, as well as a good write up in the guide book. The place was basic, with orders being taken at the till and dispensed by order number. Eat in pizzas were served on a cardboard platter with plastic cutlery. Seating was on bar stools around empty wine casks, and drinks were self-served from a fridge. However, the pizza had a crispy base, with rich doughy crusts, and the toppings were simple but generous. Probably one of the cheapest meals we had, but also one of the tastiest too.

Random Graffitti

This graffiti was everywhere. I have no idea what the significance is.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

It looks wonderful! I've always wanted to go to Italy to have pizza :) That graffiti is very random!

Jenny said...

I really hope someone just wanted to publicise their love for a certain dairy product! I might start scrawling "cake" on various historic buildings round here!