Regional Flavors of Italy – Liguria

By Alessandra Bianco, MA 2013-14

Ahhh Liguria… Home of the famous Cinque Terre. The only thing more amazing than the views from the hiking trails of Cinque Terre is the food. Located on the rocky north-western coastline of Italy, the cuisine in this region is rich in seafood (naturally, with its abundant coastline and with a capital city of Genoa, a famous port-town), but this article actually will not focus on the seafood options – those are all amazing! This article instead will feature the non-seafood options, which are numerous and delicious. 


Foccacia can be found all over Italy but it originated in Liguria and was originally called “Fugassa” which in Genovese which means cooked on hearth. Until the 15th century it was only eaten by church monks with wine during moments of blessing. Today Focaccia is found everywhere for breakfast, lunch, and even aperitivi.

Home of Salami
Salami – An Italian tradition of many variations, salami is commonly flavored with garlic, peppercorns, paprika, fennel and wine. Salami variations include Finocchiona, Pepperoni, Fegatelli, Felino, Genoese, and Milanese. Each is uniquely flavorful.

Freshest, Purest Basil


Basil with D.O.P. certification, which stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta” and it means “Protected Designation of Origin” is the highest quality basil. Basil, the main ingredient of Pesto, grows freely on the hillsides of this region, which means the best pesto in the world comes from Liguria.


Street Food
Street food is one of the Liguria’s strongest traditions and is especially associated with the region’s capital city of Genoa. Its origin can be found in the historical port and the many businesses that sprang up to offer quick meals for the camalli (dock workers).
Fainà – a pancake made from chickpea flour.
Fugassa, a soft foccaccia made from wheat flour, doused with olive oil and sprinkled with grains of sea salt and served hot.
Pissallandrea, made from bread dough and topped with cooked onions, olives and anchovies.
Frisceu -Tasty deep-fried treats served from a paper cone. Include many varieations such vegetable fritters (made with sage, borage, and lettuce, depending on the season), fried battered fish, cuculli (chickpea fritters), strips of panissa, fried codfish, squash blossoms and sgabei, fried bread pieces typical of the far-eastern area.
Pasqualina- a paper-thin crust stuffed with beet greens, eggs and prescinseua cheese.


For more information on food from Liguria, check out the following sites:

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