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Thread: The Cinque Terre and its cuisine

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    The Cinque Terre and its cuisine

    The Cinque Terre are five ancient fishing villages perched above the Mediterranean in eastern Liguria. They are now designated as a National Park and a Unesco protected site.

    So you can see what it's like, this is a video about it, one of the best I've ever seen in that it shows both the towns and the hiking trails. It's no coincidence that it was made by an American, as, while the tourists come from all over the world, by far the greatest number, from my experience, are from the U.S., probably because of Rick Steves' videos, articles, and books. This year quite a few of my friends from the U.S. joined me for a week, so I also increased their numbers.



    Now, on to the food!

    A cappuccino (or espresso or tea) with a sweet bread of some sort, along with perhaps juice or a piece of fruit is very traditional, and often taken at a coffee "bar".

    However, yoghurt, fruit, muesli, and cured meats and cheeses are sometimes provided in larger hotels and bread and breakfasts that offer a "continental" breakfast.

    Personally,I'm never hungry when I wake up, so cappuccino and fruit are fine for me, and if I have a kitchenette I might, if I'm unusually hungry, mix espresso and lots of hot milk and then add some bread and sugar...very old school. Mid-morning, if all I've had is coffee, and especially to bring along for a hike, I like a piece of focaccia or farinata if I'm on home ground.
    http://static.flickr.com/80/253332150_1c1f7a9383.jpg

    The focaccia of Recco, which includes cheese, deserves a special mention:
    http://www.beautifuliguria.com/blog/...ccia-recco.jpg
    Last edited by Angela; 26-06-15 at 03:28.


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    Here I am having trouble with posting images again. Could a moderator turn the "attachments" into images? Thank you.

    Now, for snacks or a light lunch in the Cinque Terre:



    Frittata, an Italian omelette made from eggs, vegetables, and grated cheese is also nice, if you can find a place that makes it, accompanied by a nice green salad:
    https://www.districtofchic.com/wp-co...8278fd_b-1.jpg

    Fresh, light salads are also a good option:
    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...g-0393-jpg.jpg

    Or maybe a small portion of seafood risotto
    http://www.risozaccaria.com/immagini...re-ago08_5.JPG

    Or, you can buy plain focaccia, add some cured meats, fruit, and wine, and have a picnic.


    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...1d035389bf.jpg
    Last edited by Angela; 30-01-19 at 21:39.

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    For a formal luncheon or dinner, your options are going to be a little limited if you don't eat fish or seafood.

    Our version of spaghetti ai frutti di mare:
    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...-frutti-di.jpg

    Trofie with pesto might be a good choice if you don't want fish. Sometimes, they add potatoes and green beans:
    http://mytravelintuscany.com/wp-cont...ofie-pesto.jpg

    Pansotti (a type of ravioli filled with spinach type greens and a ricotta type soft cheese) with walnut sauce is really popular with our tourists. You could also ask for them to be dressed with a sauce of butter and sage, if you prefer. This version has too much sauce for my taste, but it's down to personal preference.
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PfPYQOJmO0...tti_finiti.jpg

    Another non-seafood choice would be our meat filled ravioli:
    http://www.virgoletta.eu/public/dati...violi_sugo.jpg

    Those things are my passion...my whole extended family demanded them for every holiday and big family party, and no one dared to make them except my mother. When she was ill, my father's brother, who owned restaurants, made them...she wasn't satisfied...she told him he rolled the dough out too thick. :) You have to practically be able to see through it, and yet the ravioli can't break apart when boiled.


    A word about pesto...
    Don't be put off by the taste of American made pesto sauce. New World basil is very different from Ligurian basil; it's much stronger and minty tasting. In order to approximate the taste of Ligurian pesto I buy special seeds and grow it partly in the shade. So, give it a try at its home if you were put off by your first taste.
    Last edited by Angela; 26-06-15 at 04:44.

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    Dinner choices are heavily weighted toward the sea as these are fishing villages after all, but I have seen chicken and veal on the menus in some places as well.

    Alici sotto l'oglio, one of my favorites:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3019/...b8850ac1e4.jpg

    Baked fish with potatoes:
    https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/363/18...33796f56_z.jpg

    I think I've mentioned before that Italians often prefer that the fish be served with its head still attached. Then you can look at the eyes to be sure it's really fresh. Also, the eyes and head are considered by some to be a delicacy, but you can pass on that...I certainly am not a fan.)

    Seafood stew:
    http://incesinitaly2012.weebly.com/u...06935_orig.jpg

    One of my American friends (originally from Yorkshire) was particularly smitten, but then he lived for a while in France, so he was familiar with the flavors. He actually ate so much of it, and bread for the juices, and all so late at night that I told him he was going to be ill, but I have noticed that foreigners have a stronger digestion than we do, apparently, because he was perfectly fine.

    Most restaurants do have a steak option, and some also serve the delicious Cima Ripieno, or stuffed veal breast at certain times of the year.
    http://www.hotelnazionalesanremo.com...ina-ligure.jpg
    Last edited by Angela; 30-01-19 at 21:44.

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    adding to cinque terre, ............ensure you go south, to checkout one more city. go to
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porto_Venere

    porto venere means friday's Port

    It will complete your trip of this great area.
    you can only get their by boat or train from Cinque Terre or bus from La Spezia.

    If you want to include medieval archeology etc, castle and things, then the above for a large castle
    The castle in Porto Venere is the usual castle used for films like the count of monte cristo etc

    Only castle I recall in cinque terre was at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernazza
    castello Doria.......which could hold no more than a 100 men
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    Sciacchetra'-A thousand year old tradition of wine making. It costs the earth, but it's so worth it.


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    Those villages are beautiful, but I think I'd get tired of all the stairs. All that climbing must keep the locals slim.

    I really appreciate the food porn, especially that picture of seafood stew - I can almost taste it. It's been a long time since I've been close enough to an ocean to experience that wonderful "just pulled out of the bay" taste. As for basil, I've always hated it, but perhaps I'd feel differently about the Italian version.

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    The hiking is not for the faint of heart or those who are afraid of heights!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Those villages are beautiful, but I think I'd get tired of all the stairs. All that climbing must keep the locals slim.

    I really appreciate the food porn, especially that picture of seafood stew - I can almost taste it. It's been a long time since I've been close enough to an ocean to experience that wonderful "just pulled out of the bay" taste. As for basil, I've always hated it, but perhaps I'd feel differently about the Italian version.
    My Yorkshire friend said he wanted to bathe in it he was so in love with it. He has a quite operatic turn of phrase at times, which I feel must be pretty unusual for Yorkshire, I would think, yes?

    You would definitely not care for one of my favorite bed and breakfasts in the area. You have to climb 500 stairs to get up to it! (That's not an exaggeration...I counted them once.) They do provide space in a shop in town where you can leave some 'odd bits' as my friend would put it. This is what it's like at the top:
    Attachment 6580
    The views from your windows:

    Attachment 6583
    The accommodations:
    Attachment 6584
    Attachment 6585


    However, the villages can also be visited by sea in a nice leisurely way, and some of the trails are paved and flat. Monterosso has a bigger flat area and some sandy beach and is also a good option. I'm very fond of it...it's a "family" place as we've been going there since my great-grandmother's time. It's just a short drive to La Spezia and then a hop on the train, so I normally don't actually stay in the Cinque Terre unless I'm with friends or I'm going to be doing some serious hiking.

    The people can get portly in their seventies and eighties, especially the women, but until then they tend to be pretty lean. Some of them stay that way far into old age. Part of it is genetics, though, and diet. My mother was like that...5'6" tall and barely 118 pounds when she passed.

    For those not fond of stairs and hiking, the Versilia coast, also within driving distance for me, (a bare half hour or so) is a much better choice, and has the added advantage of providing nice, sandy beaches, and a wealth of low brow and high brow summer entertainment. That's where I got all those pictures of "civilized" beach going! :)

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Pansotti..
    I confess I feel a little shame each time I read regarding Cinque Terre. The first time I was in Italy, was as a child with my parents. Part of the holiday included four days in Venice. My parents [ well actually mostly my mother, as my father did not like to walk much] really wanted to go to Cinque Terre, I can`t remember which village. However it was quite a long journey and I remember crying at the prospect, thus stopping my parents from going.
    In my defence, I was only five or six.

    On a slightly different note. Can I recommend for any-one interested, the several series on Italy by Francesco da Mosto especially, "Italy Top to Toe" where he travels from North Italy to South [ in a very nice Alfa Spider]. It is not only a journey around Italy but also some history of each place he visits. Very good series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hope View Post
    Pansotti..
    I confess I feel a little shame each time I read regarding Cinque Terre. The first time I was in Italy, was as a child with my parents. Part of the holiday included four days in Venice. My parents [ well actually mostly my mother, as my father did not like to walk much] really wanted to go to Cinque Terre, I can`t remember which village. However it was quite a long journey and I remember crying at the prospect, thus stopping my parents from going.
    In my defence, I was only five or six.

    On a slightly different note. Can I recommend for any-one interested, the several series on Italy by Francesco da Mosto especially, "Italy Top to Toe" where he travels from North Italy to South [ in a very nice Alfa Spider]. It is not only a journey around Italy but also some history of each place he visits. Very good series.
    Hope, thanks so much for that info! I just took a peek at the first episode (all of it seems to be on youtube.com) and it looks great. I'll have a lot of fun watching it. (The Alfa Spider is indeed very nice.)

    Thanks again. :)

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    Molto bello

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