Among the various traditional recipes there is boiled tripe. In the past it was usually cooked on Saturday and Sunday after the butcher had washed the animal entrails in the water of the river current. The next day, the leftovers were steamed and boiled with soaked bread. The result was the “Carcerato” (The Prisoner), a typical poor dish of Pistoia, served as a kind of soup. This procedure was conceived so that nothing would go to waste.
The Florentine “Trippa” (Tripe) was boiled for hours on a charcoal fire and prepared to be eaten the next day. The blood that was recovered during the preparations was used to make “migliacci”. In the woods and hills there used to be many active hunters of game. When the hunting season was good, they would return to their towns with a load of hares, pheasants, thrushes and other birds. The hare was deboned and cooked as a filling for a kind of stuffed pasta, similar to cannelloni. Everyday dishes were based on polenta or were bread soups, ribollite (boiled bread with vegetables) and boiled meat with potatoes. When affordable, the Florentine steak was and still is one of the main dishes of the tuscan cuisine. To celebrate the end of harvest, it was customary for the peasants of the area to eat duck, cod, and the characteristic “celery and meat”. This combination is still remembered by the inhabitants of Tobbiana during the feast which is held annually in October. As a matter of fact, during the celebrations there is a funny local saying: “festa massiccia, sedano e ciccia…” (trans:”Grand celebration, celery and meat …”)