The Lampredotto sandwich is the best sandwich in Italy. There is no getting around it.
I tried hard for a couple years to write a comprehensive diary on my trip to Italy in 2017, but a 10 day culinary adventure is just too exhausting. It might help if I start by telling you a little story about how I chose Italy as a travel destination.
Several years ago, I stumbled on a piece by the Daily Meal called “Under-the-Radar Sandwiches You Won’t Believe Exist” and my ears perked up
I’ve always been a fan of sandwiches. Subs, hoagies, and even the egg salad sandwich at 7-11 (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). It was a natural instinct to click through this list of delightful sandwiches from all over the world.
As I scrolled though this listicle on sandwiches, I realized that I’ve had some of these. No big deal, I said to myself “let me just scroll down some more…” and then like a thirsty camel finding an oasis in the desert, I found it!
The lampredotto sandwich!
If you are not an adventurous eater, then you might want to stop here.
We are talking about the fourth stomach of the cow or the Abomasum. I won’t get into all the details of this, because a lot of you guys might get squeamish, but if you are curious, you can find more information from Cattle Empire. But before you get confused, this is not tripe.
Let’s get to the details. The lampredotto is stewed in a large pot with tomatoes, parsley, onions, celery, and some secret things that various cooks wouldn’t disclose. After cooking in this aromatic bath for several hours, the meat is served upon crusty bread and topped with a spicy green sauce that had a sensualized garlic aroma. It’s unbelievably sexy when you bring this sandwich up to your face.
Ok, now let’s talk about how I had one of these bad boys.
After reading that piece in the Daily Meal, I added this sandwich to the list of things I want to eat during my world travels. I talk a little bit about being adventurous in my post from Iceland.
Back in 2016, I got a job working for Wolfgang Puck. Yes, THAT Wolfgang Puck. One of the perks of that job was meeting several chefs across the network of restaurants his group owns.
During a very casual chat with one of them, he brought up the lampredotto sandwich! I told him about the Daily Meal piece, and how I REALLY wanted to go to Italy and eat it. He said, “What’s stopping you?”
Next thing I know, I’m writing up a travel itinerary, booking a flight, and then I was on my way!
One of my first stops on my Italian culinary adventure was the recently opened FICO Eataly theme park. I didn’t plan on eating the lampredotto sandwich there. I knew I would grab one of these puppies somewhere in Florence.
After a morning of exploring this massive indoor theme park on a bike (it’s THAT big), I got hungry and stumbled upon one of the food stalls. It had bar seating, so it was a sight for sore eyes.
I ordered a Mandarin Aranciata, and saw that sandwich that eluded me for several years.
This thing arrived on a warm plate, and I had the patience to take a quick pic before pulling the sandwich up to my face so I could inhale that innocuous aroma of the stewed meat, garlic and fresh bread.
I suck my teeth into that bread and found a crunch that sounded like something straight out of an erotic ASMR video.
The next thing I noticed was the bite into that delicate meat, and the flavor explosion from everything that was in that warm bath of goodness. It was a touch gelatinous (in the good way), but had a bite that was similar to the most tender roast beef you could ever imagine.
I finally had it. The BEST sandwich in Italy. The BEST sandwich in the world. The lampredotto sandwich is the BEST sandwich I ever had. TO THIS DAY.
I’ll leave you with one piece of advice. Throw away any thoughts you could ever have about eating stewed stomach of a cow. I promise it will be worth it.