Talking about Italy means talking about food. The peculiar thing about the Italian food is that each place has its own specialties, that’s why eating is the best way to get familiar with the local culture. Due to the large variety of dishes you can find, choosing something to eat can be difficult.
In Cinque Terre for example, one of the most awsome places in Italy, where mountains meet sea, you can get a lot of specialties, influenced by the food culture of both seaside and countryside.
We wanted to give you an overview of the best food in Cinque Terre. As always, defining few nice items is a very hard job, but someone has to do it. 🙂
If you want to know the best drinks in Cinque Terre, you can check our article!
Here a list of eight food you might want to eat in Cinque Terre while enjoying your stay!
Stuffed Mussels (Muscoli ripieni)
This dish is probably the most famous among Cinque Terre food. In this area the mussel farming is one of the main activities; the process is ancient and handed down from one generation to another. They are usually stuffed with the soft inside of the bread, eggs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley. As with any Italian recipe there are many versions of it, every family has its own recipe so it might vary a little, for example some people add some mortadella.
Anchovies (Acciughe di Monterosso)
If you are eating in Cinque Terre, you cannot miss the anchovies, especially if you’re in Monterosso where the fishing of anchovies is huge! They are preserved in salt and placed in a sort of vase called “alborella” where they start aging for at least 40 days. When they are ready is possible to eat them with some oil, oregano and garlic or use them to add some flavour to other dishes.
Whitebait (Frittelle di bianchetti)
It should be clear by now that Cinque Terre food is mainly fish and if you’re in the area you definitely have to try the fried whitebait! The recipe is as easy as it is tasty: the little fish are dipped in a batter made of flour, water, salt, oil and fried.
Eating in Cinque Terre is not all about fish! If you prefer to taste something different the local soup can be a good idea! It’s born in the XIV century and the word “mescciüa” is the dialectal form for “mix”, that’s because it’s a mix of legumes such as beans, chickpeas, lentils; each variety is boiled following a different timing and later mixed together. If you want to eat it as a local would, don’t forget to add some black pepper!
This is a typical dish in the local tradition. The recipe is ancient, the women used to prepare Sgabei for the workers that needed a lot of energy to work. A sgabeo is basically a dough of flour, salt and water mixed and fried. Today they are usually eaten with ham, salami, cheese etc… is also possible to find some sweet versions, but the traditional one is salty!
Rice cake (Torta di riso)
This traditional cake was originally prepared on the 24 June to celebrate Saint John, but today is easy to find it during the whole year. There are two versions of this cake, as a matter of fact, it can be either sweet or salty. What is sure is that the main ingredient is rice!
Talking about Cinque Terre food it’s not possible to avoid mentioning the “monterossina”; this cake was born in the village of Monterosso and is not the lightest one! The shortcrust pastry is filled with a layer of sponge cake, chocolate, custard and jam.
Pandolce with Sciacchetrà
When in Cinque Terre you might notice that there is a great wine tradition here and it also reflects in the desserts. Pandolce is a typical Ligurian cake with raisins and candy fruits, but in the Cinque Terre version some local sweet wine called Sciacchettrà is added.
It will be clear by now that food in Cinque Terre has many typical options to offer.
This is just a short list, but there is much more! And if you like eating this food in Cinque Terre you should book one of our tours and enjoy the experience to eat as a local.
Take a look to our La Spezia Cinque Terre food tours, book your place and eat with us!