Part of my ongoing blogs about “strange and unusual things Italians eat”, this months entry is cow stomach, trippa in Italian. Eaten in other parts of the world as well, cow stomach is not the strangest thing to eat you’ll find in Italy. But especially in Florence, where they love them some cow stomach, you will find an amazingly wide variety!
As you may know, cows have four stomachs to digest their food, and each stomach has a different purpose and a different look and texture. I took these photos in the historic market of the Mercato Centrale in the San Lorenzo area of Florence. The dark brown wavy one is lampredotto, and is the fourth stomach of the animal. Supposedly more delicious than the others, lampredotto is especially popular in Florence.
The most commonly eaten stomach is tripe or trippa; you’ll find that all over Italy and most especially in the central regions. If you’d like to try some while you’re in Tuscany, there is a great lunch counter, da Nerbone, in Florence’s mercato centrale, that serves lampredotto and trippa sandwiches. It is very old and very famous and filled with everyday Italians eating lunch, as well as a significant amount of tourists. If you want to opt out of the cow’s stomach option, go for the boiled beef sandwich. It’s excellent and is served with au jus and salsa verde!