Monday, 14 September 2009


Firenze is outside my door step, and will be my home for the coming weeks, as part of the last phase in this Italian adventure. This is my opportunity to polish up on my Italian, regain control of my food and alcohol intake, and further explore local specialties. My days are spent practicing both food and architecture, and I am glad to report the three of us are enjoying each other's company.

It is the weekend, and it is time to eat. I had been building up to lunch for the past week. Everyone around me talks about lampredotto; Its typical Florentine and can only be found here. Sold in approx. 10 different places around town by specialist masters, it is the cattle’s 1st stomach lining, boiled, chopped, flavored in red and green sauce, then wrapped in Tuscan bread dipped in the cooking liquid. Trying this delicacy was a decision I had made, and although I keep delaying the moment of truth, eventually I would have to face it. So when better then now?

Note to self: I did not enter the Florentine branch of McDonalds to check if they serve a McLampredotto, what with McDonalds global range of local specialties.

I headed out to Nerbone, an eatery at the San Lorenzo market, and one of the recommended sites serving this gastro- delicacy.

For 4.5 Euros, you are served the innards and a glass of the house wine, to help it all go down smoothly.

The texture resembles over cooked, chewy, rubber like calamari rings. It is soft and smooth and looks like grey matter. The piccante salsas, however, ignited an internal burning inside of me, I could feel my stomach digesting the stomach, which started of a series of philosophical questions. Does my stomach know it is digesting a stomach? Is it confused? Does she feel as if she is looking in the mirror?

I felt an uncomfortable heat in my stomach, so this was not an easy experience, be it an important one. (R)Ice cream was my stomach’s cold patch.

I never used to be this way, but now, the thought of NOT trying a local dish seems unfathomable. This is my Mona Lisa in Paris, My Michelangelo’s David. This comes instead of standing in a cue, spending 10 euros on an entrance ticket, then touring around a museum full of old, static art surrounded by tourists equipped with a must see list.

Food is the contemporary, the present life, the colors, tastes and smells of a locality, and an art that is consumable.

An entire meal in a sandwich, paired with wine for under a fiver, how could McDonalds count as an alternative?

No comments:

Post a Comment