Genoa Food & Wine
Despite its location on the sea, seafood has not been the most important food enjoyed by the Genoese. While the sea has been the primary means for their livelihood, the Genoese, like all the people have always loved their small sunny vegetable gardens, the fields of grain, the olive trees, and the most varied and perfumed aromatic plants of thyme, basil, sage, mint, and marjoram more than anything else.
Genoa specialties are the simple and delicious foods like the traditional breads, Focaccia and the Farinata. Focaccia, a delicious flatbread is often stuffed with cheese or topped with an array of available vegetables and herbs then drizzled with the pure olive oil they produce and baked to golden goodness. It is popular throughout the day with meals and in between as a quick repast. Farinata, a lightly fried specialty made from chickpea flour, is often stuffed with spinach and ricotta and served plain or topped with a walnut sauce.
Yes another traditional bread is the pissalandrea, named after Admiral Andrea Doria. A pizza type bread, it replaces the traditional tomatoes with chopped onions herbs and capers.
the pesto sauce
And always there is pesto! This favorite basil sauce made with a mixture of basil, pecorino and Parmigiano cheese, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts, is ladled over pasta, tossed into salads and mixed into soups.
Sweets, or dolce, are fabulous confections rich in eggs, creamery butter, golden raisins, pine nuts, hazel nuts and candied fruits. Pandolce di Colombo, a traditional fruit-laden cookie honoring the great explorer, Panettone Genovese and the luscious hazelnut croissant known as a Falstaff, which was so esteemed by Giuseppe Verdi, who spent forty winters in Genoa that he was compelled to write the bakers: "Thanks for the Falstaff, much better than mine."
Yet another specialty is the cake for special occasions and weddings, Sacripantina. A delicate sponge cake, brushed with Marsala wine, filled with a zabaione cream and crushed almond macaroons, it is classically beautiful covered in a flawless thin layer of marzipan and intricately hand-decorated.