When I think of Liguria, the first things that spring to mind are the colours and fragrances of the flowers and herbs that grow in abundance on the coastline and of course my all-time favourite painting, Bordighera by Claude Monet:
Despite the fact that this amazing canvas is owned by the Art Institute of Chicago, I have had the honour of seeing it twice: the first time in Spring 1988 in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the second exactly nine years ago, on my birthday in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam!
But let’s calm down and get back to Liguria… I’d say the herbs I mentioned above are the key factor to its cuisine, combined with suberb vegetables. No wonder the most famous item is pesto!
Ligurian cuisine is quite oddly un-Italian in certain ways. Probably because of the natural barriers formed by the mountains and the constant flow of foreign visitors to its harbours a rich and wonderful mix of French, Catalan, Greek and Arab elements form its base.
The second most famous Ligurian food is arguably the bread: the Focaccia. Although some sort of focaccia is made in many parts of Italy, purists will claim that only in Liguria, at the baker’s, you will be able to enjoy true focaccia…
But surely there’s more to Liguria than pesto and focaccia, I can hear you think. Well, let’s see how many recipes and anecdotes we can collect in the comments section below!