If walking through the streets of Livorno you happen to come across the so-called “Pizza and Torta” shops, our suggestion is to go inside to buy the famous “Torta di Ceci”, or the savory pie made from chickpea flour, perhaps accompanied by a glass of Spuma Bionda. Simple flavors, part of the tradition and history of the city to which the citizens of Livorno have always been loyal.
The famous cake was born by chance in 1284 during the battle of Meloria: when Genoa defeated Pisa there was a storm and the cargo of Genoese ships full of chickpeas and olive oil was reduced to dust; the resulting mixture was left to dry in the sun so that the mixture could solidify and resemble a cake that could be eaten by sailors during the crossing. On their return home, the Genoese sailors thought that the best way to eat the mixture created was to cook it in the oven; and here is the birth of the “Farinata” in Livorno known as “Torta di Ceci”.
One of the most typical ways to taste the chickpea cake is that of the Cinque e Cinque, or a focaccia of French bread filled with chickpea cake. The name Cinque e Cinque derives from the traditional saying five coins for bread and five coins for cake.