Bistecca alla Fiorentina
The Bistecca alla Fiorentina is the pride of Florentine cuisine and a delicious expression of simplicity. Derived from the English word for beef steak, a bistecca is a thick slice of beef with the bone, essentially a porterhouse or t-bone steak, grilled over charcoal or wood and drizzled with olive oil. The Bistecca alla Fiorentina may be found in almost all of the restaurants in Florence, yet many won’t live up to the hype. When you find that truly delectable steak, however, the discovery will be well worth the search! Il Latini, Sostanza and Giannino in San Lorenzo have some of the best Bistecca in the city.
Traditionally, the Fiorentina is made of beef from the Chianina breed of cattle. The largest cow in the world, the porcelain-white Chianina are raised in the Val di Chiana region, near Arezzo. According to the Florentine Butcher’s Association’s Florentine T-Bone Steak Academy, the steak must be of the highest quality Chianina beef, and well aged for roughly six days. The steak is grilled over a wood or charcoal fire, and seasoned simply with salt and pepper. Traditionally the steak was served with a pat of butter, though today a drizzle of olive oil and a lemon wedge is the more popular choice.