Farinata, the gold from Pisa!

Farinata is one of the most delicious dishes in Liguria! It is easy and fast to prepare 🙂 It is a thin kind of pie made from chickpeas flour, water, oil Extra Vergine and salt. That four ingredients mixed together make a fantastic meal!


In italian it is named farinata di ceci. In Ligurian dialect:  fainâ de çeixai. 


There are many ancient Roman and Greek documents that mention a pie made from legumes. Then in the  XV century, a decree was published. That document established rules and way to prepare the farinata (in that period was named scripilita). That rules are still actual!


There is a legend that tells a story of Genoa’s ship that was going back after a won sea battle in Meloria. A defeated enemy was the Republic of Pisa. During the way back the sea was very rough. The whole food provisions like flour of chickpeas and oil split and mixed together with sea water. In that way was created a mixture that some of the sailors ate. However, the most of them didn’t want to eat it and they left the mixture on a ship’s deck. After some time the mixture dried out under the sun and became a kind of pie. The sailors that hadn’t eaten it before were very hungry and they decided to try it … and it was delicious !!! 🙂 When they came back in Genoa they improve the recipe and cooked the mixture in an oven. The most characteristic thing about the pie was that after cooking it assumed a golden colour. That’s why it was called the gold from Pisa 🙂

Where can you find it?

Farinata was invented in Liguria and its most important, producing centres are Genoa, Chiavari, Savona, Santo Stefano d’Aveto, Pegli and La Spezia. However, you can find it also in Tuscany, southern Piedmont, in Sardinia and even in French Riviera. All places that were conquered by the Republic of Genoa.

How is it prepared?

You need a bakeware and a wood oven. When the oven is hot enough you pour a mixture of flour, water, salt and oil on the bakeware. You mix them again and put the bakeware in oven. Then you have to rotate the bakeware from time to time. After about 15 minutes farinata is ready! It is the best when it is still hot!


Where can you buy it?

In Osteria or Trattoria that has a wood oven. In general, you eat it inside Osteria/Trattoria however sometimes they give a possibility to take away. I’ve taken all my pictures in one of the most famous Osteria in Chiavari. Luchin is one of the historical places in Chiavari and offers typical, Ligurian dishes. They have the best farinata in that zone 🙂

How much does it cost?

About 10€ – 20€ /kg. It is not the main dish, it is more like a starter so it is enough 150 g per person.


You can find some different kinds of farinata. There is farinata con cipollotti (farinata with small onions; it is common in western Liguria), farinata bianca (made of wheat flour) and la fainè(with sausages and onions; it is common in Sardinia).

So if you haven’t tried it yet, you should do it as soon as possible!

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