Specialities

Torta di Ceci - a wonderful Livornese speciality

Torta di Ceci, a Livornese specialityTorta di Ceci, a Livornese speciality Torta di Ceci is the perfect street food! It's tasty, nutritious and cheap, and easy to eat as a snack on the move, or as part of a meal.

Torta di Ceci is made from chick pea flour. This flour is made into a thin batter and cooked in huge round tins in a very hot oven, preferably wood-fired. The resulting 'pancake' is sold by weight, and is traditionally eaten in bread as a 5&5 (“Cinque e Cinque”) which refers to the original value of the bread and the torta (5 old liras of bread and 5 of ‘torta’).

A Gourmet Tour of Livorno

Start the Day with an Italian CoffeeStart the Day with an Italian Coffee Eat Your Way around Livorno!

If you are a lover of Italian food, or just food in general, you can easily spend a day or a weekend in Livorno making your way around a selection of the many cafés, bars, restaurants and market stalls sampling some of the local gourmet specialities.  After all, Italian life rotates around food, so you cannot leave without trying at least a few of the great things to eat and drink.

How to make Cacciucco

CacciuccoCacciucco A modern version (with shellfish) (serves 6) Ingredients: 1.5kg fish  - whatever is in season. This doesn’t have to be expensive, and could be a mixture of any of the following, depending what is available: sole, mullet, scorpion fish, catfish, dogfish, eel,  hake, monkfish, John Dory.

Keeping the Fish in the Cacciucco

Livorno’s signature dish

CacciuccoCacciucco 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.

Livorno's Specialities: Cacciucco, Torta di Ceci and Ponce

Delicious Torta di Ceci, a Livornese specialityDelicious Torta di Ceci, a Livornese speciality No visit to Livorno is complete without trying one of the city’s local specialities. Perhaps the most obvious of these, Livorno being a port with lots of fishing activity, is the fish stew known as “Cacciucco”. This rich dish with a tomato base contains five different kinds of fish and served in a soup dish on a thick slice of bread rubbed with garlic. These days the dish has become a symbol of Livorno. (To find out how to make your own Cacciucco, click here)