This is what a bistecca fiorentina looks like. It’s served rare. Always. I’ve seen grown restaurateurs cry when Americans send a perfectly grilled Florentine steak back to the kitchen for further cooking.
“Too rare!” these tourists say, wrinkling their nose at the dripping juices and blood-red bone.
Last year, I saw a chef / restaurant owner virtually get on his knees and beg a group: “Please, don’t ask me to cook it more! It will taste like shoe leather.”
This man owns his own herd of Chianina cattle, the massive white creatures that are the source of this bone-in steak. He makes his own salumi, his own pasta. He cares madly, deeply, passionately about the meat that ends up on his clients’ plate. But, stubborn Americans, they insisted on throwing it back on the grill. Needless to say, the chef was right. Shoe leather with green salad.
The next day, I overheard two of the women say, “You know, that bistecca fiorentina wasn’t so good. It’s really overrated.”
Millions of Chianina cattle turned in their grave.