A real Florentine steak or Fiorentina Chianina is T-Bone steak from a cow which has reached an age of 30 months.
It is typically grilled rare and is taken from the part of the animal pictured here.
From 1999 it was officially off on the menu in Italy due to the mad cow scare and only steaks from younger cows were sanctioned by European quarantine laws for a while.
Regulations were relaxed in January 2006 from 12 month to 24 month old cows, and in January 2008 the pride of every Tuscan butcher is now being prepared as it always was.
The 'bistecca alla fiorentina' accounts for about 5% of all beef eaten in Italy.
Before preparation it must be kept in a refrigerated environment for 2 weeks, then allowed to return to room temperature.
La Razza Chianina - www.razzachianina.it
Friends of the Chianina - www.amicidellachianina.it
The name 'bistecca' is a corruption of 'beef steak' used by English soldiers passing through Florence at the time fo the Medici during the period of the annual Festival of San Lorenzo in early August.
Demand for the dish by local merchants and travellers and the subsequent market in the Florence from Renaissance times secured its fame.
Although referred to as 'Fiorentina', the majority of the beef today is raised in rural areas away elswhere in Tuscany.
Head to the province of Siena and Grosseto in Tuscany where herds of Chianina and Maremmana cattle are reared. The snow white cows are an impressive sight in the fields.
And dare we say even more impressive cooked on a open grill with rosemary potatoes, cannelloni beans and accompanied with a bottle of young Chianti Classico red wine.
I think we can!