‘Tripe Florentine’ at Ristorante Tito, Florence, Italy

'Tripe Florentine', at Ristorante Tito, Florence, Italy

‘Tripe Florentine’, at Ristorante Tito, Florence, Italy

I pride myself in being an adventurous eater.

With a Chinese background, you know I’ve grown up with a weird and wonderful assortment of foods that many Westerners wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

 

In Florence, Italy, we stayed at the San Gallo Palace Hotel, a charming (albeit pricey) hotel about fifteen minutes’ walk from Florence’s Market Centralea popular tourist destination.

One day while walking to the market, travel companion Gary and I spotted Ristorante Tito, a restaurant recommended by U.S. TV travel show host, Rick Steves.

The restaurant door was open and we poked our head in and asked when the restaurant opened for evening service.  The man told us 7:00 PM (a common opening time for supper service in Florence), and advised we make a reservation, which we did.

On returning that evening, we found a lineup of people waiting for the doors to open and we were promptly ushered in and seated at a table.

Perusing the menu, I noticed ‘Tripe Florentine’ and felt particularly adventurous, so ordered it.  I also like trying regional specialty dishes, and the Tripe Florentine is one such item.

Now, I’m well used to eating tripe.  Don’t roll your eyes, but tripe is the edible stomach of cows or pigs.  Pork tripe is commonly served at Chinese Dim Sum, and like other odd (for Western tastes) Chinese delicacies, it’s not the abundance of food that delights, but the delicious flavour that makes stuff you’d usually throw out, tasty and edible.

Such is the case with tripe.

I expected a small serving.  The Italians serve numerous, small courses, and if I recall correctly, the Tripe Florentine was a secondi, second (often meat) course.  It was priced at 10 Euros.

The tripe was stewed and served with tomato sauce.  It had the slightly gelatinous yet rubbery, but still chewable’ texture I was used to from the tripe I grew up with enjoying it at dim sum.

Sad to say, the Tripe Florentine was simply too much for me to eat.  A few bites of the tomato ‘meat’ was sufficient for me to have satisfied my curiosity and confirmed my adventurous self identity, but having had it once, I wouldn’t order it again.

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