Wednesday, January 16, 2019


This year my wife and I are going to Florence. And as i peruse the raft of guides to this city crammed with art and beauty it is difficult not to be overcome by all that Florence has to offer. Everything is so compelling and amazing and interesting and appealing and recommended that my limited choices begin to seem impossible.

That is when I turn my attention to Bistecca!

I gleefully don't care about Bistecca!

Everyone should try Bistecca. It is the classic dish of Florence. Every single guidebook brings up Bistecca as often as possible. I don't know why exactly. It doesn't sound that great, but then I have found that very little Italian food sounds good in the guidebooks. I read a lot of descriptions that run something like this:

"Chef Venucci brings these contemporary Norwegian sensibilities to classic Florentine cuisine. His delicate handling of razor thin slices of sheep spleen, layered with parsnip new pickles, will convert even the most timid American diner to this beloved Florentine slaughterhouse floor cut."

Bistecca is a pretty simple dish though, and once you get past the mundane dead animal aspect, it is not conventionally gross, like, say, a spleen. Here's my understanding of how you make it:

Slice a Tuscan cow in half. Cut a two inch slice from the inside of the "headside" half. Peel off the skin. Hang it up for a few weeks in a cool dry place. Throw it on a wildly hot grill for half a minute, being careful not to really "cook" it. Serve it oozing off of a large plate. Two can share.

I'm not saying I wouldn't try it, just, I could live very comfortably with it all just not working out for me. After all, there's so much sheep spleen to sample, and Michelangelos, and maybe a bit of gelato.

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