I have just returned from a wonderful holiday, which lasted about a week, spent in San Michele di Pagana, a fraction of Rapallo, neighboring with Santa Margherita Ligure, in the Gulf of Tigullio. The weather was splendid and lovely, could not ask for more!
As well as the sea we dedicated to the kitchen: we are all (alas!) “pleasure-loving” people, with some afterthought dedicated to extra weight that vanishes at first taste.
Sea and Earth are the common denominators of the Ligurian culinary delights. It is a real “geography of taste”: each zone is characterized by its typical product that can surprise even the most refined palates.
Special mention goes to oil. In the countryside olive trees are cultivated and their fruit sqeezed. From father to son the tradition has been perpetuated for hundreds of years and, now as then, oil is the “prince” food of the Mediterranean diet. The result of the combination of varieties of local olive oil is the oil DOP Riviera Ligure. PDO – Protected Designation of Origin – because it is fragrant and fruity, with a hint of pine nuts or raw artichoke. Three geographical indications are declined: Flower Riviera, Riviera del Ponente Savonese and the Riviera di Levante.
The oil is also one of the main ingredients of the “focaccia” (a typical flat bread), of the “brandacujun” (specialtie of the Ponente: oil, dried cod and potatoes) and of the Stroscia of Pietrabruna, a sweet and dry focaccia.
And when we speak of oil you can not forget the pesto, made with another DOP product: the Genoese basil. The characteristics of the soil and the salty air define the quality. Pesto, rigorously prepared in the mortar – of stone or marble – is the ideal condiment for pasta – trofie, gnocchi, lasagna, trenette, picagge (similar to fettuccine) and Mandilli De Saea (silk handkerchiefs, similar to lasagna’s sheets but not stacked). With pesto you can also dress the testaroli and the typical panigacci the Levante Ligure, cooked in crock and mica plates inside a wood oven, and the croxetti, which have a round and flat shape with the typical decorations impressed by the wooden molds. Pesto also adds to minestrone alla Genovese.
Furthermore, Ligurian excellence is made of: the water of bitter orange flowers of Vallebona, the beans of Badalucco, Conio and Pigna, the toma cheese of Brigasca’s sheep, the artichoke of Perinaldo, the garlic of Vessalico, the purple asparagus of Albenga, the chestnut of Calizzano and Murialdo, the Chinotto (a type of bitter orange drink) of Savona, the small-scale fishing port of Noli, the apricot of Valleggia, the rose syrup, the Cabannina cattle breed of Val d’Aveto, the black cock of Val di Vara, the tonnarella (a typical tuna fishing net) of Camogli.
Between Levante and Ponente (east and west), some of the addresses of local markets: La Spezia, the market in Piazza del Mercato (the market square); the “Mercato Orientale” in Genoa on Via XX Settembre and that of Piazza Romagnosi; Savona at “Mercato Civico” (the Civic Retail Market) in Corso Mazzini; the Annonario Market of Sanremo in Piazza Eroi Sanremesi; The “Mercato Rionale” of Porto Maurizio, the one of Oneglia in Imperia, and the one of Ventimiglia in Via Roma.
Read more: www.turismoinliguria.it