Geo & Geo
First broadcast date
Chiavari is a coastal town near Genoa, with a rich historical and architectural heritage. The city is also home to a culinary tradition based on chickpea flour: The farinata, a Ligurian specialty. We discover all the steps and recipes for making farinata.
RAI - RAI Tre
- Tourism and cultural sites / Tourist sites
Credits / Cast
- Barbieri Riccardo - Author of original work
- Italy - Western North - Chiavari
The farinata of Chiavari
Chickpea is an ancient aliment, inseparable from the Mediterranean culinary cultures. Its origins stem from the Eastern Mediterranean region, while its culture has expanded to reach the four corners of the basin, all the way to the East, rendering the chickpea a staple element of the Indian diet. Additionally, on a smaller scale, it has spread all over the world. At a very early stage, the populations have attributed numerous therapeutic, even magical effects to this aliment, stimulating therefore its consumption.
Ever since antiquity, chickpea has equally been a label of poverty and frugality. Within the context of imposed healthy diets, its prestigious position has degraded as demonstrate many popular adages that deride human conducts. Nowadays, as the “Mediterranean model” is seen as balanced, traditional and natural, chickpea has come to force again. This inclination has further been consolidated as vegetarianism has gotten ahead and meat consumption in Eastern Mediterranean has, in a nutshell, decreased. The chickpea belongs to the legume family; it is a vegetable protein that constitutes, whether by choice or out of necessity, an important source of protein whose agriculture has low water requirements.
In the Arab, Islamic world and the Indian subcontinent, the rich and varied culture has ushered in food preparations that are particularly diverse and refined. The European Mediterranean has equally brought to light a distinctive culinary inventiveness, notably in Provence, Spain and Italy. Reduced to flour, chickpea has been a part of composite food preparations. As flour, Chickpea adds flavor to the patties of the Mediterranean. It is first stirred with water, then fried or roasted. Chickpea flour is used in different recipes such as Panisses de Marseilles, Socca, Sicilian Panelle, Tuscan Cecina and Algerian Calentica. In the region of Liguria, however, the Farinata- a version of Socca- has the higher ground. It is made by stirring chickpea flour with water, baking and then cutting it into slices that are finally browned in the oven. It is a simple, yet delicious recipe to be prepared at home or bought as “street food.”
-BISTOLFI Robert and Mardam-Bey Farouk, Treaty of Chickpea « Traité du pois chiche », Actes Sud, 2003.
-FLANDRIN Jean-Louis, MONTANARI Massimo, History of Alimentation « Histoire de l’alimentation », Fayard, 1996.
-LAMINE Claire, Health and Classification of Products « Santé et qualification des produits », Natures Sciences Sociétés 4/2005 (Vol. 13), p. 403-412.