The largest city in Tuscany, Florence shares many of the region's culinary specialties, but there are some meals that are special to Florence.
Crespelle alla Fioretina is a classic local pasta dish. Crespelle are the Italian version of crêpes and here you will find them stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, covered in béchamel sauce and Parmesan cheese, and then baked. A traditional entrée of the city is of course Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a two-inch thick slice of beef, on the bone, grilled over a flame and then salted. Trippa and lampredotto both double as main courses and easy-to-eat street foods. Trippa is tripe, the first or second stomach of a cow, and lampredotto, is the fourth. Cooked with tomatoes, onions, parsley, and celery, they are served on a crunchy bun. Considered peasant food, trippa and lampredotto are best when prepared at one of the numerous food stands around the city. Peposoalla fiorentina involves slow cooking the toughest parts of the meat in red wine, garlic, and a generous portion of peppercorns.
As for dessert, there's Schiacciata alla Fiorentina. Typically baked in Florence during Carnival season, it's a large, flat sponge cake flavored with orange or lemon zest and dusted in powdered sugar, often with a Florentine lily design. And then there's Zuccotto, which you can find at pastry or ice cream shops. Zuccotto is a semi-frozen dessert of liquor-infused sponge cake and ice cream or ricotta cheese layered in a bowl that is then inverted on a plate, making a small pumpkin or helmet shape. There are many different versions of exactly what goes into or onto this dessert, but each one of them is worth the calories!