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Discovering that Tripe and Lampredotto can actually be good

Photo by L’Osteria di Giovanni

I am a little ashamed to admit that I have lived in Tuscany for over five years and still never let a bite of trippa {tripe} or lampredotto pass my lips. While I don’t consider myself a squeamish eater by any means – straight from a cow’s stomach was never my idea of a good time.

One thing you have to respect about Italians  is their use of almost every animal part hence why these sorts of dishes have retained an almost cult-like status among locals and foodies alike. I have also never been a fan of traditional crostini with liver sauce but really that is just an aversion to liver itself which has a strong smell/flavor for some people. There are many famous best lampredottaio stands around town where locals can get a heaping sandwich of lampredotto with green sauce, tman is a fan of Nerbone near the San Lorenzo markets.

Finally I decided enough was enough – if I can happily chomp octopus tentacles without a second thought, tripe and lampredotto were certainly worth a shot! Friday, I decided to invite my friend Nico to join me for a  traditional Tuscany meal at L’Osteria di Giovanni located on one of my favorite hidden streets – via del moro, close to the birth of a wonderous fruit cocktail in the city, art bar.

When we arrived we met the lovely Caterina, one of the owners along with her father Giovanni {hence the name}. Super friendly, they chatted with us about Tuscan food and their origins in Italy. I appreciated how attentive all of the waiters were which honestly is a rare, rare treat in Florence where often you can feel abandoned in the dessert, waving furiously to get more water/salt/oil.

osteria di giovanni

The brought us fresh coccoli, Tuscan fried bread which is absolutely addictive to be washed down with a great bottle of 2005 Chianti reserve. They explained to us what was going to be on the menu and I admit when I heard ‘cold tripe salad,’ I mentally freaked out just a little bit.

Instead what arrived was a delicious, perfectly dressed salad, the tripe itself feeling/tasting almost like fish with a rubbery consistency (or maybe that’s my mind trying to trick me). I really enjoyed it and itself was a very promising way to start a meal like this. Along came tortellini in broth – also a very traditional dish, super  tasty and just the perfect amount of salty.

Next was the famous lampredotto, I didn’t know what to expect but what came out was a beautiful ribollita flavoured with all sorts of spices, mixed in was the lampredotto itself and honestly it was delicious. I don’t think I would have even noticed  what was inside since it was such a hearty soup in itself. For our last course {before dessert} we got mixed boiled meats served with a green sauce, heavy on the garlic and sinfully delicious. I didn’t really want to know what the boiled meat consisted of but it was great even if at that point we were stuffed and couldn’t finish the large plate, which was a shame.

osteria di giovanni via del moro

Above you can see my friend Nico thinking, my god – there is more food after this? He was most certainly a trooper. We ended our culinary journey for the evening with homemade vanilla ice-cream along with some fresh biscotti that they make in-house along with nearby restaurant Latini. These biscotti/cookies are the bomb. Soft with a slight lemon taste with raisins sprinkled inside. We also downed a shot of strong liquor and grapes which reminded me a little of  Surf Ventura. A perfect ‘digestive’ way to end our wonderful evening.

osteria di giovanni

If you are looking for a good tripe or lampredotto recipe {offal is very low in fat!}, I recommend this one written by one of my favorite food bloggers, Emiko Davies. I also got to bring home some of those amazing cookies (which I am eating right now) and a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil. Needless to say, I will be going back to this restaurant though I don’t think I will order a lampredotto sandwich just yet.

2013-02-02 12.06.09

L’Osteria di Giovanni. Via del Moro, 22 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 284897

Now it’s your turn! Have you ever tried trippa or lampredotto? Did you like it? 

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  1. Cassandra

    You are a brave one! I have tried tripe, called “callos,” as they are a Madrid specialty. I didn’t set out to try tripe, but one day, when I was with a co-worker, we stopped for a drink and tapas. Unbeknownst to me, my friend is perhaps the only Spaniard I know with a dislike for garlic. The ONLY THING on the entire tapas menu without garlic was–whattayaknow–tripe.

    • ggnitaly84

      I see tripe is everywhere, not just Italy! I still am not a super fan of eating organs, however nutricious they are but at least my first experience was good or this post would have been entirely different..

  2. Pecora Nera

    Mrs Sensible loves tripe. I stay away from tripe, rabbit and offal. Up here they also eat raw mince!!! Madness, it is cooked with lemon juice, maybe is it too save the gas bill.

  3. Caterina Latini

    Our national non-squeamishness about eating virtually anything that moves, and every single body part, makes for some of the most rich and diverse dishes in
    the world. These are the dishes that you will only ever eat in Italy, they are not on standard Italian menus around the world! They are real, genuine, seeped in history and tradition, and taste really good.

    It was truly our pleasure to have you with us on Friday night. And we very much look forward to seeing you again soon.

  4. D

    I’ve passed by Giovanni but never thought to stop and eat there. The photos and descriptions are enough to make me think about going soon! Thanks for the info (I actually do like trippa, grew up with it in my Italian-Am family) but haven’t yet experienced Lampredotto.

  5. Kirsteen

    I’ve never been to this restaurant either but I definitely want to try it now. Please, please try a lampredotto panino – you will love it! And once you’ve tried that, get yourself to Magazzino (Piazza della Passera) if you’ve not mean for some lampredotto polpette. Can you tell I’m a lampredotto fan (and a bit of a bossy boots when it comes to getting people to try it)?!

    • ggnitaly84

      My friend was just telling me about Magazzino in Piazza della Passera (love that piazza despite it’s awkward name). People should just try it once and make their decision afterward. I am happy that I tried it in a good place because now I’m willing to eat it again ;-).

  6. Yolanda Joy

    That looks like fancy Lampredotto!! My boyfriend took me to one of the street stalls selling Lampredotto sandwiches the first time I went to Florence with him – it looked very different to yours! Usually I can stomach just about anything being an adventurous eater, but the consistency of the slimey intestine in the sandwich just made me squirm. I ended up pulling it out and just eating the bread, I’m ashamed to say. If I could just get my mind around the sliminess, though, I think I would probably enjoy it…

  7. Amy

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE lampredotto! I first had it at the stand in the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo back in 2010 & fell in love with it. It’s so flavorful and delicious! I’ve had it at Nerbone too, which is also really good, but I still prefer the one at the Mercato Nuovo. You really should try it! Sneak a bite of your boyfriend’s panino sometime, if he’ll let you. (I would probably get a bit violent if someone tried to sneak a bite of mine!)


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