Chickpea farinata is a Ligurian specialty. It is especially typical of the city of Genoa but its origins stretch far back in time to Greek and Latin antiquity. However, legend has it that the dish dates back to the period of the Maritime Republics: it is said that farinata as we know it today was first created in 1284, when Genoa defeated Pisa at the Battle of Meloria. As they were sailing back from battle, the Genoese ships were caught in a storm and some barrels of oil and chickpea flour split open, their contents becoming soaked in salt water. Because provisions were so scarce, everything possible was salvaged and the sailors were served the mixture of chickpeas and oil, which was dried in the sun to create a kind of pancake in an attempt to make it more palatable. Back on terra firma, the Genoese perfected this makeshift recipe to create the specialty we enjoy today, known as “Pisan gold” as a reference to Pisa’s defeat. Chickpea farinata is a typical “cucina povera” recipe made with humble ingredients and is very common throughout Italy. It occurs in numerous versions beyond Liguria
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