Rigaglie


FLORENCE

The rigaglie are the entrails of chickens, pidgeons or other birds: liver, heart, crest, jowls, unborn eggs and stomach (called also cipolla, ventriglio or durello). The word rigaglie or regaglie comes from the latin regalia which means things fit for a king. In reality at one time the rigaglie were fit only for the servants, as the lords ate the feathered animals and gave the entrails to their servants. Today it is a sought-after dish that may be found in the traditional trattorias and restaurants of Tuscany or cooked simply with sage or with white wine or enriched in a fricassee with the yolk of an egg mixed with lemon. In Tuscany the singular rigaglia is also used, referring to the entrails of a young calf which, in particular Pistoia, are boiled and accompanied with pickles. This dish is called «carcerato pistoiese» (Pistoian convicts). The name came from the fact that at Pistoia the abattoir was very near to the prison and both were facing a small river called Brana. It seems that many years ago the entrails of the butchered beasts were not asked for at the markets, and so were thrown into this stream. The poor prisoners, evidently very hungry, saw the current take away this gift from God, and asked permission of the authorities to ask the abattoir if they may have these rigaglia that were being thrown away; this suggestion was accepted and a famous soup was invented by simply putting together water, rigaglia and dried bread. Until about ten years ago there still existed in Pistoia the shops that sold exclusively the rigaglia and that also prepared «il carcerato». This very humble dish, even if at one time was enriched with herbs, a little oil and grated cheese, is however forgotten and now unobtainable..