Friday, 8 October 2010

GOURMET WORDS FROM THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: FARINATA DI CECI (CHICK-PEA FLOUR TART).

Farinata (a.k.a. Genoa’s gold) rates among Liguria’s oldest preparations – 15th century texts hint to its ancient name, scripilita, a word deriving from the Latin scripilita (a sort of focaccia). Baked in low, round copper pans, this traditional treat was once eaten on both New Year’s Day and Holy Friday.
Variations on the theme abound in the Mediterranean area: Tuscany boasts the “cecina” in Pisa and Livorno and the “calda calda” in Massa, France goes for Nice’s “socca”, The Riviera di Levante opts for “sciocca” and – last nut not least – lower Piedmont features “bella calda”.
As regards the batter, Liguria itself has an array of variants: whitebait (ask for “tortellassu” in Noli and in the savonese), onions, pepper (Imperia’s choice), artichokes, sausage and rosemary. Follow the advice of local gourmets, ask for “il bordo” (the crunchy rim) and enjoy your farinata piping hot.
Wine pairings call for a glass of white DOC Val Polcevera Coronata.

Luisa Puppo

Ligucibario

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

GOURMET WORDS FROM THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: CUCULLI (CHICK-PEA FLOUR FRITTERS)

Cuculli (a.k.a. coccoli) deservedly feature among the highlights of Ligurian finger food.
These addictive fritters are small, quenelle-shaped and made with chick-pea flour plus a pinch of yeast. More recent alternatives opt for mashed potatoes.
The perfect street gourmet delight, they are to be enjoyed piping hot.
The Genoese do love to buy their cuculli in the small eatery joints of the historical centre (the famous “Torte e farinate”) and munch their fritters as they wander along its narrow caruggi (alleys).
Cuculli (most likely) derive their name (and shape) from silkworm cocoons.
In the western part of the region they are the faithful companion of lamb dishes. (fried or baked). As for wine pairing, “white and still” fans can go for DOC Val Polcevera Bianchetta, while the sparkling kind are well-advised to try IGT Colline Savonesi Lumassina spumante.

Monday, 4 October 2010

GOURMET LIGURIA'S AUTHOR LUISA PUPPO JOINS BLOGCRITICS



BREAKING NEWS AT GOURMET LIGURIA (http://gourmetliguria.blogspot.com/)
Gourmet Liguria's author Luisa Puppo has joined Blogcritics as an enogastronomy and travel writer.
Click here to read her first article concerning the wines of the Italian Riviera (the 8 Ligurian DOCs).

About Blogcritics (http://blogcritics.org/)
Blogcritics.org is an online magazine, filtered microcosm of the blogosphere, and a full service news and reviews source, covering all aspects of contemporary culture and society.

GOURMET WORDS FROM THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: CORZETTI STAMPATI (ROUND STAMPED FLAT HAND PASTA)

Flat (1-2 mm) Corzetti pasta discs (diam. 4-5 cm) are stamped with a variety of designs including initials (the perfect wedding gift), family seals and coats-of-arms.
The manufacture of wooden stamps is an art in itself, skilfully mastered by a scant number of craftsmen (have a visit of the Casoni bottega in Chiavari).
In bygone days corzetti were served “suolo a suolo”, that is layer after layer, like lasagne. Dressings ranged from mushroom sauce to stewed snails (not to forget the scenting crunchiness of fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced).
The dough usually comes plain, but additions may include spinaches or tomatoes.
Corzetti are a must – eat dish in Varese Ligure (SP).
Wine pairings call for DOC Dolceacqua red with sauces and Riviera ligure di ponente Pigato white with basil pesto.

Friday, 1 October 2010

GOURMET WORDS FROM THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: CORZETTI (FIGURE 8-SHAPED PASTA TWISTS)

The Val Polcevera (a valley set in the entroterra of Genoa) is the homeland of corzetti, yummy figure 8-shaped pasta twists. A stronghold of the Genoese culinary tradition, corzetti are at their best eaten with a spoon and served with pine nut sauce (the most recent mortar sauce) as well as mushroom or meat (try rabbit) sauces. Once upon a time, they were a traditional New Year’s Eve must: marjoram joined the dough and dressing turned to pork meat sauce. The DOC Val Polcevera also provides the most suitable (and philological) wine matching: Bianco (white) with pine nut sauce and Red (rosso) with meat sauces.

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario