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Trippa


It is a food present in other regions of Italy, but in Tuscany it is certainly more widely used than in other parts, with different characteristics from area to area. We may talk in fact, about trippa alla fiorentina (cut into strips and fried with sliced onions, celery and carrots, in an earthenware pot, covered with peeled, mature tomatoes and left to cook with salt and pepper for about one hour. When taken off the heat abundant grated parmesan cheese to be added and left to rest before serving), but there is also trippa alla livornese (substitute the carrot and celery with garlic and parsley), trippa alla montalcinese (this uses white wine, vinsanto and saffron), trippa alla pisana (other than onion, carrot and sedano there is also pork or minced beef and sometimes ham or chopped bacon), trippa alla senese (this uses pork sausages, garlic, tarragon and grated pecorino cheese) and finally trippa alla maremmana that is similar to that of senese with minced beef added). All of these recipes testify to its wide use and that in Florence it is usual to see the carts of the tripe-sellers that are still to be found in some places in the city, for example in Via dei Cimatori (always), in Piazza Frescobaldi (sometimes), at the arch of San Piero (always) and they are very tempting, frequented by Florentines for a long time and is now part of the tradition, eaters of «panino al lampredotto», of which these street traders are in some way trustees in that they challenge the bad weather conditions perpetuating a tradition that is very antique in as much as popular. The trippa is formed from various parts that make up the stomach of the animals and in particular the bovine. Obviously these parts need to be well washed, scraped and boiled for hours, avoiding the work with lime that even if it reduces the amount of time it dries it out. In Florence all of these operations are performed by the tripe-sellers from whom may be bought already prepared to be eaten with salad or to beremade. The parts of the trippa are various the croce, is the common part and smooth, the cuffia which has a spongey look and the centopelli (or millesfoglie or libretto or foiolo) which appears with many white pleats. The stomach whose name is abomaso is called lampredotto and is a dark brown colour. The word lampredotto is linked to the term lampreda that is a type of primordial eel, an eatable fish that can live in salt and sweet water. This use of the term probably comes from the fact that the form of this trippa reminds us of the lampreda. In Tuscany the generic denomination of trippa refers to the croce and the cuffia, the other parts are called by their names. The centopelli is used only for the centopelli soup, a tasty minestrone that is made by frying the herbs in oil and minced bacon and then the chopped trippa is added. It is enriched with green chopped cabbage, a stick of pepolino and a little preserve diluted in water; sprinkled with salt and pepper and cooked for about ten minutes. There is then added a lot of water and left to cook, covered, for about one hour. It is served hot with parmesan cheese. It may be enriched with half whole boiled beans, and half mashed but there is no pasta or rice added. The lampredotto, which is very soft, is eaten principally with - as was said - boiled in a bun as a very appetising snack; but may also be served as a minestrone and risotto. Other than the preparations already talked about, there are two typical methods - because of its antique tradtion - but unusual to cook the trippa precisely: the trippa of runaway chicken for which is used a chicken cacciatore, it made by quickly taking the chicken out of the pot and in the juices you place the sliced trippa. The other is the trippa in fricassee which is put into a pot where it is fried with a white onion and a little butter. It is left to cook for about half an hour before adding broth: At the end you mix the yolk of an egg with the rind of some lemon and some chopped parsley. It is served very hot and it is a taste an antique custom that is pleasurable and difficult to forget.


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