A Fiorentine Specialty: La Bistecca

A treat you cannot miss during your time in Florence is the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, or simply called La Bistecca.  An amazing t-bone cut, seared on the outside and rare on the inside- you have not experienced Florence if you don’t try this steak!

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The Legend

According to word of mouth and Fiorentine legend, on the birthday of St. Lorenz (August 10), the night of the shooting stars, the Medici Family would roast large amounts of ox in the square outside of San Lorenzo.  The British Aristocrats decided to visit for one of these incredible feasting events, wanting to sink their teeth into the famous meat.  Crying for more they chanted “Beefsteak! Beefsteak!” over and over, demanding more of the roast.  The Italians took on the name beefsteak, and thus the Bistecca alla Fiorentina was born.

What to expect

Cutting the bistecca is an ancient practice- the t-bone is found near the loin of a young female bovine who has never been pregnant. The perfect cut is no less than 2/2.5 inches, but you will sometimes get cuts that are around 1.5 inches. The weight of the steak can range from 1-4 pounds, so come hungry!

If your waiter or waitress asks you how you want your steak cooked, you should probably run, because there is only one way to eat bistecca, and that is rare!

Always ask a local where their favorite bistecca is from, they’ll steer you away from tourist traps and toward the real deal!

 

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