Eating In Florence

My Saturday in Florence was a whirlwind. I walked miles and miles and miles and tried to pack it all in. There’s food everywhere. It’s beyond awesome. At one point, I wandered to a random piazza, and there was an outdoor fruit and veggie market, along with a covered indoor market. The indoor market had many different vendors, meats, fish, bread, etc. It reminded me of Reading Terminal Market in Philly or The West Side Market in Cleveland.

Wandering the streets, you see all types of specialty food shops. This one was for fresh pasta. I didn’t stare too much, but there they were back there, actually making this stuff.

Check out the shrimp with their heads actually on. You’d be hard pressed to find that in a supermarket in the US. Even in seafood markets the heads are usually long gone.

In addition to flea market type of spots that seem to pop up in so many different neighborhoods, on Saturday, I saw one that had lots of food included. Look at these cool tomatoes and how strangely shaped they are.

Naturally, there were cured meats everywhere.
Breads are another ubiquitous treat.
At this one candy and sweet vendor, there were these bags of mysterious things. At first glance, it kind of looks like tortilla chips. But you know they’re not. They’re brigidini, which are tuscan style wafers. I’m thinking they probably taste like pizzelles.

Speaking of mysterious italian treats, I also saw these ladies making some kind of sweet. It seemed to be like a small type of crepe, more of the size of a small tortilla, which was slathered with cream or other sweets or ricotta and then rolled up like a little cone.

What did I eat this day? Oh, a bunch of random ass stuff. After breakfast, I wanted a sweet treat. So I got a waffle. I guess this is sort of belgian style, right? But I wanted it no muss, no fuss, so I just got it plain. Yep, I’m by the ginormous duomo. And yes, there were tons of people there. It’s like old and famous.

For my proper lunch, I stopped at I due Fratellini for some sandwiches. It’s a traditional fiaschetteria, and basically a literal hole in the wall. There’s no door to walk in, just a couple of guys behind a hole making up sandwiches. And tons of people waiting in line, but it goes quickly. The sandwiches are made with genuine tuscan ingredients, and everything is super fresh, it’s obvious. The bread is amazing and chewy. And they’re only 2 euro 50 for most of the sandwiches. So grab a few like I did and keep on roaming to see more old stuff! There’s just so much old ass stuff!

It is just like in the movies. There’s scooters absolutely everywhere in Italy. You have to watch out for them at all times! Also, later in the day when I needed more sweet, I got one of these fresh hot donuts. Nothing fancy here. It’s just a straight up sugar donut. It surely hit the spot.

At the end of the day, I was positively knackered. And then I did something somewhat blasphemous. I ate a doner kebab… while in italy. Which sounds like just about the most un-italian thing to do, but I really wanted one. I fell in love with doner kebabs on my first trip to Germany and it’s been way too many years since I’ve had one. And the last one I had like 5-6 years ago wasn’t even a good one. So after seeing these doner joints all over the place, I had to try one! So as you can see in the pic, they put french fries into it. Which was bizarre, but whatever. The bread was all wrong. It was much more like a soft hamburger bun type of bread instead of the normal pita-esque roll I remember from Germany. The ones from Germany weren’t on pitas, but the bread was more pita-like, but thicker and with more oomph. But in any case, this one in italy, the bread was just not right. The insides were pretty good though. They were way too skimpy on the veggies, but I liked the meat and the sauces and the general fixins. It wasn’t great, but it still satisfied my doner craving.

There are all types of food carts in Italy, but the strangest ones I saw were the trippa carts. Yes, they have tripe vendors. You can buy your offals uncooked so you can prepare them at home, or you can buy prepared tripe items. It’s things like tripe carts that really made me love Italy.

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