The mythical bistecca alla fiorentina


Like so many products and recipes, the origins of the ancient T-bone from Florence can only be found through historical research. It is clear that Florence, or rather the region in which Florence lies, is the cradle. It is also undeniable that the true Bistecca always comes from Chianina cattle from the Val di Chiana. The history of this cow goes back to the Etruscan times, about 2200 years ago, when this tribe was leading in this part of Italy before the creation of the city of Rome. Today this is still the largest and also the longest human-kept bovine in the world, with a height of two meters at the withers and a weight of up to 1700 kg. The calves grow up to two kilos per day and thus quickly reach their slaughter weight of at least 600 kilos to 900 to 1000 kilos for a ready-to-slaughter cow.

The legend now goes as follows: on August 10, 1565, the name Bistecca was probably created in honor of an outdoor party for San Lorenzo, as always organized for the population by the Medici family on this day in Florence. San Lorenzo was celebrated with large bonfires in the shape of towers on which meat was traditionally grilled. Various cattle were grilled for the entire population on behalf of and at the expense of the Medici’s in Piazza San Lorenzo. Among those present were a number of Englishmen that day; For many years, rich Englishmen had been coming to Florence for many years, and when they saw this meat bachanal they started shouting ‘Beefsteak, beefsteak’. The Florentines immediately changed this to ‘Bistecca, bistecca’. Until then, this meat was usually called Carbonata,

The bistecca or T-bone gets its name from the T-shaped bone on which the meat is attached; with the small fillet steak on one side and the contra fillet or entrecote on the other side. At Casalinga, we let the Chianina Bistecca, which we source directly from Florence, ripen ‘wet’ (wet-aging) instead of the usual dry-aging. Please order 48 hours in advance. But then you also have something‚Ķ ..and we have great ripe red wines from the region.

We encourage our guests to structurally eat less meat, but of better quality. So the occasional brilliant bistecca seems like a good idea!

A presto!
Giovanni Carmelitano