Friday, September 19, 2008

A Queen's Soul-Food Tastes

Catherine de Medici had a legendary appetite. At one point in her 16th century life, Catherine (the Italian-born wife of France’s King Henry II) nearly died from a period of gluttony that involved the classic Florentine dish called cibrèo.

What is cibrèo? Well, it isn't the kind of dish that you'd guess a dour-looking woman like Catherine would have enjoyed. But apparently she adored it. Now, let me provide a more direct answer to that question.

Cibrèo was a dish that originated in Catherine's native Florence. It is (and was) usually made with the gizzard, liver, testicles, and cockscomb of a young rooster, which is mixed with beans and egg yolks and then served on toast.

So it sounds like cibrèo is to Florence what haggis is to Scotland.

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