CINQUE TERRE - FOOD & WINE
The characteristic dishes of the Cinque Terre are very fundamental and simple. They provide unaltered true aroma and taste of fresh products. This land produces the most flavorful basil, exceptional olive oil, and due to the richness of algae and strong currents, the tastiest fish. Ligurian cooking is dense with flavors and aromas, resulting from combinations rather than mixtures. Vegetables are significant components of these dishes. For example you can eat a delicious minestrone soup cooked with artichokes, leeks, Swiss chard, potatoes and cabbages. Be sure to taste the white wine, which is another characteristic product of the territory, and end your meal with a glass of Sciachetrà, it`s a strong sweet wine created with raisins which helps digestion.
A sublime example is the `cappon magro` or thin capon. It`s a laborious construction in the form of a pyramid made up of six or seven types of both fish and vegetables cooked separately and then built layer by layer on a base of crackers and covered with a rich sauce based on olive oil and anchovies. The decoration of the dish is elaborate, slices of hard-boiled eggs, medallions of lobster, large shrimp, oysters and other fruits of the sea. Apart from that, Ligurian cooking is basically very simple.
Wine of Cinque Terre
The coastline of Cinque Terre is protected by the hills behind from the sour winds coming from the north (especially in the winter). The wine of Cinque Terre is primarily a white wine and made from the grapes of the vineyards along the slopes of the mountains of Cinque Terre. Some vineyards are still being cultivated with Bosco, Albarola and Vermentino grapes. The specialty is the Sciacchetrà: liquored wine with 18% of alcohol. The wine can be purchased by the bottle at the enoteca in each village or in a restaurant with your meal.
Anchovies of Cinque Terre
One of foods dearest to the hearts of the locals is acciughe, or anchovies. They are served salate (salted), al limone (with lemon and a bit of olive oil) and fritte (fried). Acciughe sotto sale del Mar Ligure are fished, processed and packaged in waters off the Ligurian coast, which covers the territory of the municipalities in the region of Liguria on the Tyrrhenian coast delimited by the watershed line. They are a small and delicate white fish, and are always totally fresh.
Specialties of Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre, and all of Liguria, is famous for pesto. To be really authentic, have trofie (a local pasta) with pesto.
Olive Oil is one of the main ingredients of the Mediterranean kitchen. Olives have been cultivated for centuries on the steep slopes of the Cinque Terre hills. Every tree produces yearly some 10 kg of olives which is good for 2 liters of olive oil. For the production of olive oil, no chemicals are used, the oil being the result of simply pressing the olives.