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Nerbone and Other Tripe Stalls, Florence

Mercato Centrale San Lorenzo and elsewhere
Tel: 39 055 219 949 (Nerbone)'s insider take:

Say "Florence," and Michelangelo and Dante are apt to spring to mind; one's thoughts are less likely to turn to tripe. Yet the bovine stomach, and more particularly the firm abomasum—known locally as lampredotto—has long been considered a delicacy in the Tuscan city. The courageous can sample it in Florence's tripe stalls, where knots of eaters can be seen hunched over paper-wrapped sandwiches. Some stands prepare a whole menu of tripe dishes, but the classic panino al lampredotto, a boiled-tripe sandwich dressed with salsa verde, is available at them all. One of the best is Nerbone, a stall inside the Mercato Centrale that has grown over the years into a full-scale trattoria, where hot dishes like seppie e piselli (cuttlefish and peas) are served at marble tables alongside the classic trippa (tripe) and lesso (a boiled-beef sandwich, served either as it is or dipped in meat broth). The appropriate accompanying beverage is a stubby tumbler of Chianti (open Mon–Fri 7 am–2 pm). Other trippai include Orazio Nencioni, at the corner of the Loggia del Porcellino (the covered craft market on Via dei Cimatori), and Maria Albergucci, in Piazzale di Porta Romana.

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