The History of Tripe
The San Frediano quarter was known in all of Florence for its tripe processing.
There were big buildings in via dell'Orto and in via di Camaldoli; hovels with huge
wood-burning boiler rooms where tripe was thrown in to be boiled; after which it
was hung in long rows, its wastes cleaned away, then reboiled, and it was ready.
The water the tripe was cooked in became the famous "tripe broth"
Frediano. At 5.00 p.m., almost all the craftsmen, would send their apprentices with
a flask to buy some.
They would remind their boys to have a scoop of the dripping fat added to the
flask to add more flavour to the broth.
In everyone's workshop there was a soup plate, a spoon and a bundle with some
salt and pepper. The bread was put in bits in the plate and with the broth a soup
was made that they would eat in the afternoon as a snack or as a snack-dinner.
Women also used the tripe broth in their homes,
different variants and personalizations
of the recipes.
The elders would add a lot of pepper to their soup
to add even
more flavour and also because it was thought it had particular
rejuvenating properties, this was a joke among friends and
Tripe and lampredotto then passed to tripe shops, which were very numerous
during this period, and tripe stands. Nowadays, there are few street tripe stands
and they are scattered in the old town center, in their heyday they were numerous;
a few can still be found in the outskirts.
This food was used in many ways and eaten in large quantities. The fastest way
was, as it is today, to eat tripe and lambretto boiled, with just salt and pepper. In
homes tripe was cooked with tomato sauce, served cold with tomatoes, pickles,
This extensive use of tripe on by the people of San Frediano became a mockery.
When someone felt weak or arrived at work tired, they used to say "no wonder, you
only eat tripe broth!"