Joe heard about an outdoor cooking demonstration that was going on all day on the beach of the River Arno, so we decided to check it out. It was such a fun activity! I loved watching the cooking demonstrations (even though they were in Italian, so I only understood bits and pieces), Emily loved playing in the sand and we all loved sampling the dishes. All three dishes we tried were also a bit adventurous.
The first was a zucchini risotto with a mixture of mushrooms and lampredotto on top. Lampredotto is cow’s stomach and is a popular street food served on a bun (see Florence: Day 35). I didn’t care for lampredotto the first time we tried it and didn’t have any intention of trying it again. But being in this situation, I felt I might as well. It was certainly more appealing to me cooked this way. Its texture is similar to mushrooms, so this preparation made sense to me. I could taste the lampredotto, but it was much milder than in sandwich form and it was complimented by the other ingredients in the dish.
The second dish was a panini with a mustard-like sauce, steamed spinach, and pan-fried beef tongue. This is the second time I have had beef tongue (first was at Girl and the Goat in Chicago). Both times have been extremely delicious! It’s taste and texture really just mimic regular beef.
The last dish we tried was a salted, preserved cod served in some kind of tomato sauce with croutons. Emily was getting restless at this point, so I wasn’t able to focus as closely on the demonstration and didn’t catch exactly what went into the dish. The sauce was very tasty, but I didn’t care for the fish.
When we left the beach, we were still a little hungry, but didn’t have room for a full lunch. We were in the neighborhood of one of our favorite places, so we decided to stop in to La Prosciutteria to get a mixed board of meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables to round out the meal. I absolutely love this place! The quality of the food is excellent, the staff is extremely nice, the place is adorable and they play fun music. With visitors soon coming to town, we will for sure be back to this place again real soon.
By the time the evening came around, we really hadn’t had one full meal, so we decided to continue grazing through dinner by visiting a new aperitivo. A restaurant called Kitsch just opened its second location right down the street from our apartment. It is the most expensive aperitivo we have been to (€10 for a drink with full access to their buffet), but it was also the most extensive spread of food we have seen. It definitely is easy to get your money’s worth from that buffet! I think I still prefer our other local aperitivo (Wine Bar Nabucco) because it has a more family-run kind of feel and is less expensive (€7), but this was a great aperitivo to try and I imagine we will be back again before we leave Florence.