Close shot of Ponte Vecchio over Arno river in Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Food - Drink
What Does The Food Term 'Florentine' Actually Mean?
In the world of cooking, you’re bound to come across plenty of terminology that isn't very self-explanatory. If you've heard of chicken, eggs, or pasta "a la Florentine" before, you might assume that these dishes have roots in Florence, Italy, but florentine-style dishes are defined by much more than their place of origin.
The practice of calling dishes "florentine" may have originated with an Italian noblewoman who brought her cuisine to France when she became queen of the country. Dishes labeled florentine carry the spirit of food from Florence, defined by the use of spinach and a creamy sauce, usually Mornay, or French cheese sauce.
The blend of French and Italian cuisine is obvious in pasta florentine, gratin florentine, and other dishes, with liberal use of butter, cheese, and the aforementioned spinach and cream. The basic formula is food laid out on a bed of spinach cooked in butter, then topped with cheesy Mornay sauce and browned under a boiler.