In general, I wouldn’t go out of my way searching for a sandwich filled with the cooked stomach of a cow. Who am I kidding? I totally would. So, hunting for a Panino con Lampredotto in Florence was no different than any other weird food I had pursued in the past.
A Lampredotto sandwich is a Florentine tradition, Tuscan street food at its finest and a favorite amongst all the Italian comfort foods.
This quick and easy meal is a soft roll stuffed with tender slices of tripe (beef belly), salsa verde, a spicy sauce and dripping with its own juices. Wrapping it in plastic is a must in order to catch the liquid, but you will still need several napkins to wipe off the juices that will surely be dribbling from your chin.
The first opportunity to taste this local delicacy was in front of Mercato Centrale. Even though I was heading inside of this foodie-haven to get a delicious piece of focaccia pizza, I immediately stopped at the sight and smell of the Lampredotto food truck. Focaccia pizza will just have to wait.
The Panino con Lampredotto was listed first on the menu for 3,50 ($4.75 USD). Offal on a piece of bread is quite a deal.
I attempted to place an order in my very weak Italian. After fumbling through the pronunciation for a few minutes, and with the line growing behind me, the cook just came out and asked me in English, “do you want a tripe sandwich?”. Yes, per favore.
The first adventurous experience with Panino con Lampredotto must not have been that bad, because when there was a chance for a second I jumped at it. Usually, when it comes to eating weird foods I am a one hit wonder, but this was different.
Lamperdotto was something I could see myself getting a bit addicted to. It would go nicely with my nightly glass of vino.
While exploring Florence with Play Your Tuscany, they took our group to I Trippaio di San Fernando, another food truck specializing in Lampredotto, for a quick lunch. And even though I had had a tripe sandwich just a couple days prior, I was eager to do some comparison tasting, hoping my first experience wasn’t just a fluke. It wasn’t.