Keeping the Fish in the Cacciucco

Livorno’s signature dish

Cacciucco Cacciucco The most famous of Livornese dishes is undoubtedly Cacciucco (kah-CHOO-koh), a sturdy Mediterranean fish stew made, according to tradition, with five varieties of fish, one for every  ‘c’ in its name.

Almost every fish restaurant in Livorno features Cacciucco on its menu BUT, according to some, it is becoming more and more difficult to find  the genuine article. The dish has been taken from and added to , redesigned beyond recognition in order to suit modern tastes, so that many of the supposed Cacciuccos being served up today may be delicious in their own right, but have little in common with the original recipe.

So what IS a ‘real’ Cacciucco? I talked to local food and wine journalist Claudio Mollo who has recently founded the Cacciucco Association in order to promote and protect the origins of this classic Livornese dish.