Ligurian Street food: Farinata
As you know, Ligurian cuisine is poor: a few high quality ingredients worked with mastery become pleasures to taste also on the street.
And so today we suggest you one of the most famous street food in Liguria: farinata. In Genoa, where the port asked for a quick and cheap food service, street food became a necessity.
Farinata, sold today as yesterday in the typical sciamadde (kind of delicatessen), is a masterful union of poor ingredients: chickpea flour, water, oil and salt baked in a tray in a wood oven. These ingredients make it perfect also for people who suffer from coeliac disease.
Farinata is tasty when it is warm, plain or with artichokes, borage, stracchino cheese; very famous is the one with whitebait. We love stuffed bread with warm farinata: this is a pleasure we allow ourselves in cold winter days!
As for focaccia, everyone has a different opinion about the best one: we are making our personal list. Stay tuned to discover which are the 10 best farinata according to Children Riviera!
If you don’t live in Liguria or you fell in love with farinata during a holiday and you want to try and bake it at home, here you have the recipe. But firstly we reveal you two secrets: first of all, to bake farinata the ideal tray is a “testo”, which is made of copper with a tinplated base. If you don’t have one, you can use an aluminium tray. Second, the secret is the oil you use: it must be a high quality extra-virgin olive oil.
Ingredients for a 40cm Ø tray:
300 g chickpea flour
900 ml water
¾ glass of extra-virgin olive oil
Pour water very slowly in a bowl with flour, mixing with a wooden spoon so that no clumps create and the mixture is uniform. Let the mixture stay for 4 hours at room temperature (it is usually prepared the previous afternoon) and mix it occasionally. Then salt it and add a half glass of oil, mixing well.
Oil very well the tray with the remaining oil and pour the mixture. Baking is the most difficult step so don’t worry, if your farinata is not perfect the first time you bake it: it depends on the oven. Try again and again until your farinata is like the original!
Preheat your oven to maximum temperature (it would be ideal to bake at 300° C, but for a home oven it is almost impossible). It usually takes 20-25 minutes for the first baking; then place your tray under hot grill until on the top a little crust appears.
The dust and the golden brown colour will advise you that your farinata is ready: take it out of the oven, cut it in small squares and serve it pretty warm.
We are sure it will go like hot cakes!
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