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

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