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Troppa Trippa: The Little Book of Lampredotto

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by Indro Neri
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This small book is the result of the kind of deep-seated interest (notice that we’re avoiding saying obsession), that often results in fascinating, concentrated looks at distinctive local culinary traditions.

In this case, the tradition is the Florentine consumption of tripe, particularly in the form of lampredotto, known in English as the abomasum or sometimes black tripe. It is a popular street food, often eaten as a panino or sandwich, but sometimes from a sheet of paper using a toothpick.

Author Indro Neri, a Florentine native, admits he was a late convert to lampredotto, but he is happy to pay tribute to tripesellers, a distinctive feature of the city’s streets since the Middle Ages, known for the unforgettable aroma of their wares and their ability to provide a satisfying meal to all but the poorest of citizens.

He includes a walking tour of locations important to the Florentine affair with tripe, beginning with the Ponte Vecchio (from which tripesellers were banished in 1593 to be replaced by luxury goods vendors), and taking in the coat of arms of the tripesellers’ guild on the Church of Orsanmichele, and a marble sign in the Via di Camaldoli proudly proclaiming the location of tripe processing workshops now long gone.

Neri also provides eleven tripe recipes for those moments when a slightly more refined approach is called for. They range from crostini and a rice soup to a risotto and a simple lampredotto with white wine.

A jacketed, 40-page pamphlet. Black-and-white photographs, both historical and contemporary.

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