Dalston CLR James Library building

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  • Farinata is probably as old as human history itself (forgive us the hyperbole) and it is believed to be a Roman or Greek’s invention.

    However, people from Genoa have their own many legends around it. The most popular one is that during the never ending Genoese-Pisan War in the middle ages, there was a naval battle (Battle of Meloria). A huge tempest hit the Genoese fleet carrying chickpeas, olive oil amongst other produce. The impact scattered the chickpeas which mixed up with the extra virgin oil and the marine salted water. This mash which really didn’t look that attractive at first, was left under the sun for a couple of days instead of being immediately cleaned up. But once it was dry the Genoese people brought it to their homes to try and bake it. To their surprise what looked like a huge loss at first was a proper blessing in disguise as Farinata was born. One of the most delicious dishes from Liguria.

    And that’s how the story REALLY goes…!

    (Pisan also do it and call it Cecina, but you know, Genoa won the war, so we stick with the winner’s name)

    Made only by chickpeas flour, marine salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and water, the Farinata is naturally gluten free and it is still cooked at more than 350 Celsius degree in a fascinating round copper tray called “Testo” (which according to another legend t would come from the Saracen shields….but that’s a different story).