If you are planning a trip to Florence and, well: you are not vegetarian, the Fiorentina is a must. La Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the Florentine steak, is a T – bone steak with fillet and sirloin from a Chianina cow, a Tuscan cattle breed.
Fiorentina, fiorentina and… Fiorentina!
Do you know a bit of the Italian language? From an English mother tongue point of view can be quite a tricky one.
Italian names are gender related, with the “o” for male ones and “a” for the female ones (ok, there are exceptions as well, but this is not an Italian grammar – related post…). So “Fiorentina” means a woman from Firenze, Florence.
“Fiorentina” is the Florence soccer team as well, which shares with the Florence municipality the emblem, the Florentine lily (which instead is an iris, actually: but this is another story…).
But par excellence, in Florence and everywhere in Italy, “La Fiorentina” is the steak, la bistecca, in the way it is cooked and served in Florence.
So: what the perfect fiorentina steak is made of?
La Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the Florentine steak, is a T – bone steak with fillet and sirloin from a Chianina cow, a Tuscan cattle breed.
La Fiorentina is thickly cut and quite a huge piece of meat – more than 1Kg (so it can be shared at least between two persons) and “alta tre dita”: three fingers thick.
La Fiorentina must be grilled, over a wood or charcoal fire (wood is better than charcoal), and must be served quite rare, after 3 – 5 minutes of grilling on each side and 5 – 7 minutes of grilling standing vertically leaning against the bone (actually to dry the bone from the blood in excess).
The Chianina meat and the quick grilling give a juicy meat which needs very few seasoning: a bit of salt and pepper, a drop of (Tuscan, of course!) Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to be applied immediately after the Fiorentina has been retired from the grill.
The drowning of the Fiorentina…
What to drink with the Fiorentina?
The traditional wine to pair with Bistecca alla Fiorentina is Chianti, the strong red wine made in the countryside between Florence and Siena. An even more structured (and expensive as well…) wine?
Brunello di Montalcino or Sassicaia di Bolgheri.
A Challenge? Eat by yourself a whole Fiorentina as a true… Fiorentino!