Florence on my mind.

With trippa alla fiorentina, my all-time favourite dish, sticking on my mind like an old sweet song, I might not have Georgia on my mind like Ray Charles, but lovely Florence. I was first introduced to it in 1981, at the age of 12 or so, when my mother tried a recipe from a fancy cookery book—a collection of a former German newspaper’s Italy correspondant’s favourite Italian dishes, some sort of culinary memoirs, a cookery book my mother felt very much inspired by at the time. It was an immediate success with me: I declared it my last meal before being hanged. My mother told me then that Germany didn’t have the death penalty any longer, but she would send me some to prison. Nice reply. But what my trippa actually were, my mother did not tell me. Years later, however, I found out, when we had moved up north, to a place where trippa were only fed to dogs—oh sweet Baden-Wuerttemberg, how I still miss you, you are so much closer to France and Italy, you know what and how to eat (and how to make cars, but that’s just coincidence, I guess)—but by then, I had grown addictive enough not to care. Veal’s veal, whatever part of it, unless you’re vegetarian of course, or worse, vegan—in that case: vade retro, folks! Many years later, I traveled to Florence, enjoyed the glorious architecture, and finally tried that former Italy correspondant’s recipe vor Ort, on my own Lokaltermin, my on-site inspection, so to say. The place was really nice, the food, however, was not. It tasted just the way it was not supposed to: like dog food.

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