Traveling with my daughters, we pretty much stuck to sitting down to eat, due to the difficulty of finding any gluten free street food. It just doesn’t exist. However, while in Italy, my daughter was telling me, an adventurous eater, that I would enjoy trying the Lampredotto, which is sold on the streets in the piazzas around town. So, we made a point in our exploration of the city to stop at a street side kiosk. I bought mine in the Piazza della Signoria.
If you question whether boiled cow gut can be delish, yes it can! If you like beef short ribs, with the unctuous and savory gelatinous cartilage, you will love this. It isn’t quite gelatinous like cooked cartilage can be, and it definitely has a soft, but chewy texture. The vendor asked me how I wanted it, I just told him to do it like the locals eat, that means with the green salsa and chili sauce. I’m always astounded at how simple food can be so incredibly complex. The pairing of the savory, soft and chewy Lampredotto was balanced out by the sharp, green and fresh taste of the salsa and the very slight bite of the chili. The bread was crunchy crispy on the outside, but soft and sturdy on the inside, sturdy enough not to fall apart while walking and eating.
I marvel at the talent and resourcefulness of other cultures who do not let any part of the animal go to waste, taking what we Americans see as discards or only fit for dog food, and turning it into a cultural treat. Centuries of testing out culinary methods to make tripe terrific is a testament to the people of this town! (well, not exactly tripe, tripe is the first stomach, Lampredotto is made from the last stomach in the digestive tract)
So if you get to Florence, which is known for this simple street sandwich, I recommend giving it a try. If you click on the photo, it will take you to a youtube video of a chef explaining how to make one.