Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a well known speciality of Florence . If you are there you must definitely try it . It is very impressive because of its huge size. It is not covered in fancy sauces but is simply dressed with salt and pepper. In a restaurant bistecca alla fiorentina is always priced by weight and is usually the most expensive item on the menu. It is a sizable steak and normally is big enough to feed two people. A good restaurant will cut the steak to order and you will get the chance to see the steak before they cook it. Bistecca is best eaten with rosemary potatoes, sautéed greens or cannellini beans “all’olio” (with olive oil) and lots of bread to mop up the juices. Tradition has it that bistecca alla Fiorentina should come from Chianina cattle, an ancient Tuscan breed and one of the worlds largest – mature bulls reach over 1.8 metres (nearly 6 feet) tall.
It takes its name from the English word “beefsteak” and it dates back to the 1500’s and the legend goes that grilled steaks were prepared for the Medici to celebrate the saints day of San Lorenzo. San Lorenzo is the patron saint of cooks and whilst being grilled to death for his beliefs he is reported to have said “I am done on this side, now turn me over and eat me!”.