Farinata! I had the pleasure of eating it twice in the past week around Torino. If you don’t know what farinata is, check out this post I wrote about it. The quick and dirty definition is a flat baked dish made with chick pea flour, olive oil, and salt. But that doesn’t do justice to the flavor explosion, the warm and creamy interior, the crusty and flaky top and bottom, the hint of spice from sprinkled black pepper… OK I’ll stop now.
In the above snapshot you can see the farinata that I ate last night when I went out for an aperitivo at the Caffé Rossini in Torino with a friend. We got there kind of early so I was eating other things, but I kept watching the counter to see if they would bring out any farinata, which is really good there. Finally my friend noticed that they put some out, and we wasted no time in hopping to the counter in a single leap and filling our plates.
This photo, on the other hand, was taken last Friday when I was out for pizza at a pizzeria called Alla Baita dei Sette Nani (At the Seven Dwarfs’ Hut). I didn’t actually eat pizza that time, but just got this generous plate of farinata. They had three serving sizes, and I got the largest one, which the server described as abbondante.
This pizzeria was really nice. It had an old fashioned, homey mountain feel inside and posters and decorations of the seven dwarfs everywhere. The three people I saw working there also seemed just barely five feet tall (152 cm). Now remember what the place is called….
They had a big wood burning oven in the back and cooked huge pans of farinata. I think the pan they used accounted for this farinata not being crispy on the bottom, which was strange, but besides that it was some of the best farinata I’ve ever had (so was the farinata from the above aperitivo). To tell you the truth, it’s hard to find farinata that I don’t like, but it has happened.
This is a picture of my place mat at the pizzeria; the top says “The seven dwarfs recommend their latest specialties”. I finally learned all of the Italian names for the Seven Dwarfs.
Dotto – Doc (scholarly [adj] or intellectual [n])
Mammolo – Bashful (naive person or simpleton)
Gongolo – Happy (??? any ideas?)
Brontolo – Grumpy (from the verb brontolare [grumble, mutter, growl])
Eolo – Sneezy (Eolo is Aeolus, the god of the winds)
Pisolo – Sleepy (from pisolino [nap])
Cucciolo – Dopey (puppy or baby animal)
I have to go food shopping because there’s not much to eat in the house. But as long as you have chick pea flour, you can make farinata (olive oil and salt are staples that are usually in). So I had farinata for breakfast this morning too. Thank goodness nobody will ever find out.