God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

?Stuffed Chicken Necks?!

Cibrèo-a very well regarded restaurant in Firenze.

In fact it has three parts--Cibrèo the ristorante for which, I am told, reservations are a must; Cibrèo the trattoria which is next door and has a menu which is made up of parts of the ristorante menu and is less expensive and Cibrèo the cafe which serves most of same foods at a cost somewhere between the ristorante and the trattoria --distinquishing itself by having table clothes and a more upscale atmosphere than the rustic trattoria and a coffee making machine.

Today after dropping into the Uffizi for two hours, we decided to find Trattoria Cibrèo--this trio being located near the San Ambrogio Market. On the way we stopped twice to ask directions--the last time being immediatly across the street from the trattoria door with the newstand lady giving me a rather "that's OK, you're a tourist" look as she pointed. I didn't dare tell her we live here.

There are just a handful of tables in the trattoria--rustically wooden with matching accouterments. The menu is undecipherably handwritten in italiano so we asked for translation--not something we frequently need to do these days while staying within Toscana.

The first secondi was one I have seen on other menues and wondered about--Collo di Pollo Ripieno or Stuffed Chicken Neck. Now, I wondered, "How does one stuff a chicken neck?" Can it be deboned? Is whatever squeezed between the flesh and the little rib like bone structure? Is that whatever shoved under the skin? But then--how would you eat it? As far as I know, the only place one can comfortably eat the meat on a chicken neck is in the privacy of the home kitchen.

So, following last week's adventure with carpaccio di cavallo, I decided "Why not? Go for it."

It wasn't too long until the questions were answered in a most unexpected way. When the plate arrived, there staring at me was an uncooked, marinated chicken head with comb and all. Where it had been separated from its body, it was stuffed with something resembling pate. To complete the effect, some of this delicacy dribbled out its open mouth. The rest of the plate was arranged with slices of this pate and some type of mayonnaise.

I acknowledge that this is not the most appetizing food picture but it's all too good to resist. Unfortunately I didn't think of taking the picture when the head first arrived which I am sure would have given the delicacy more justice.

After eating, we asked for caffe--but they don't have a machine so don't serve it. Quite surprising. We did see later that if you dine in the ristorante, caffe is delivered from the Cafe.

We did discover another excellent but out of the way gelatieri--far better than Perche No or Grom's or Vivaldi in my opinion. It's Il Procopio--Via Pietrapiana 60/62R. Their flavors are very unique, freshly made and memorable. Il Procopio is in the same general area as Cibrèo but closer to the center.


Judith in Umbria said...

I'm exhibiting considerable courage by coming back here where that head lurks. That's what made me close the page before!
Thing is, what you called a cock is actually a comb, so here I am and this post has done my diet more good than most things the past week.

Jane said...

See Judith--you owe me one!

Cristina said...

Oh Jane, that is one of my favorite dishes. Not all places serve it with the head still attached but it is a very traditional Tuscan dish. At our little Taverna here in Vagliagl, that is the reason I go to it, to get the neck! Same with Le Logge in Siena. I just love it.

Jane said...

Cristina, we had dinner with Alessandro and Nicoletta last night and I was telling them about the chicken head and Cibro. They, of course,know Cibreo and laughed at me, as they grew up with this traditional dish--Alessandro in Greve and Nicoletta in your Siena. Their bisnonni used to make it--but not their nonni nor Nicoletta. Do you?

Alyson said...

On the gelato front, next time you are in try to get over to the Porta Romano Gelateria. They make an ice cream with no soy, dairy or sugar. Not a sorbet as it is too thick but loads of fruit. They do chocolate with chilli and other really interesting flavours too!