Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trying New Things/Tripe Sandwiches

Every time I start to write a new entry, I shy away, something stops me. It might be the little voice in my head telling me that I am not talented enough or maybe that fact that I haven't told anyone about my blog, so at least I feel like the only person I'm failing is myself. I guess that should be my greatest concern, but in this life, in the day to day, well I can easily find a million reasons not to do something. I also guess that because no one (not even my family) knows about this blog, I really keep it under wraps. For the past 3 weeks I have had non-stop visitors and therefore I have had constant justifications not to write.

No longer.

My stepsister was here for the past week and she and I decided to go to Florence for the weekend, neither she nor I had ever been and we are both always dying to discover new places. The beauty of Italy is the the differences in regional cuisine, its unbelievable, a two hour train ride and bread no longer had salt, crostini implies pate, and cantuccini (the italian name for what we know as biscotti, in Italian biscotti just means cookie) are served from dawn to dusk. So after sifting through my guidebook and reading that lampredotto sandwiches are a Florentine specialty, I had no choice but to try that. Over time, I have decided that I must taste everything and anything I can, I need to expand my palate and take culinary risks. I do, however stick to the three bite rule my mother instilled in me.

Lampredotto is considered tripe, but it comes from the cow's fourth stomach. We went to get our delicacies at the street cart that has been serving these sandwiches to locals for decades. When we got there, an overwhelmingly large swarm of people were waiting hungrily, no one seemed to want to wait their turn. When I finally had my sandwich in hand, I took a fearless bite. The second bite was more reserved, the third, barely a nibble. So I guess I didn't like it, but at least I tried it right? I couldn't overlook the chewiness and the grissly fattiness. As I shamefully snuck my sandwich into the garbage, I smiled widely and proudly, I may not have liked it, but I gave it a shot.

Luckily, after the lampredotto pseudo-fiasco we went to the Mercato Centrale, the most exquiste food market I have ever been too. No, it is not the Green Market in Union Square; but if you want to spoil yourself with the best salumi and cheeses, fresh cut tagliatelle and tuscan wine look no further. The pictures I have added throughout this post can possibly give you a vague idea, but truly while I was there I could feel the heart of Tuscany beating. Going strong and sharing its wealth with anyone who is willing to take a risk.