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Florence, Italy: Where to Eat the Best Panino di Bollito
Mouth-Watering Panino di Bollito (Beef)
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The History of Bollito Misto
Pronounced Boh' lee to Mee sto is a traditional Italian dish derived from the Northern region. Tougher cuts of beef and/or veal are thrown into a pot along with a capon or hen, and the meat simmers in a savory vegetable broth for several hours. Many people also add sausages and offal.
Once the meat is cooked until fork tender, the broth, which typically contains onions, carrots, celery, tomato, and garlic, serves as the perfect base for tortellini. This is then served as a first course, followed by the meat as a second course. The broth served alone with some bread is also a good choice as a primo.
Traditionally, the meats are served with mostarda or salsa verde or chutney. Mostarda is a fruit jelly with a horseradish base. Salsa Verde is a green sauce consisting mainly of parsley, olive oil, garlic and other ingredients. Fianlly, chutney is a fruit relish.
The invention of spicy and pungent fruit accompaniments is centuries old, and may have derived from necessity. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, meat was not always fresh. These sauces "hid" any rancid flavor or odor. Today, of course, we consume them for pleasure.
One of the newest spots serving excellent bollito and lampredotto is right in the city center on Via Santa Elisabetta, beside the Piazza Elisabetta that boasts the only round medieval tower in Florence GUSTA TRIPPA. They also serve traditional ribollita, tasty papa al pomodoro, and succulent porchetta (roasted pork).
This little place also happens to be my personal favorite. The beef literally melts in your mouth, and the salsa verde is impeccably fresh. You can also choose Salsa Rossa on your panino, which is made from pepperoncino and very hot. Unless you like it spicy, ask for only a little bit or avoid it altogether.
As always, thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist