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Picchiante


FLORENCE

In Tuscany the lungs of the slaughtered beef are called "picchiante". Until ten years ago the lungs were well exhibited in the butcher's shop and was bought to cut up with potatoes that would become very tasty and very cheap dish. It was widely used by the Florentine people and was often called "pasto". Today the lungs are reserved for the cats (but not for all...). Picchiante survives nearly exclusively as a gastronomic curiosity being offered in very few trattorias, particularly those tied to local traditions above all in Florence, but also in Livorno and Lucca. The name "picchiante" used only in Tuscany is of uncertain origins: it seems to have come from the fact that the lungs, in the live animal, beat, that is are hit, a little like the heart. There is also a dish known as the «fanfara» that was once widely eaten in Mugello using the ingredients of heart and polmone. This fanfara is cooked with herbs, garlic, sage, and preserves like the picchiante.
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