Mescciüa

Mescciüa (typical Ligurian soup) – Pampuco CC BY-SA 4.0

Mescciüa, also written mesc-ciüa is a traditional dish of La Spezia’s cuisine.

Ingredients

  • cereals
  • dried beans
  • wheat
  • chickpeas
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • peppercorns

How to prepare Mescciüa

A typical dish of the so-called “Cucina Povera” (poor cuisine), mescciüa, is a soup made of legumes and cereals, previously soaked in water (dried beans and wheat for at least 24 hours, chickpeas for 48 hours) and then boiled with different cooking times. The ingredients are then blended in a single dish, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and peppercorns.

History

In the dialect of La Spezia, the term “mesc-ciüa” means “mixture” and derives from the circumstance that the soup was traditionally prepared in the area of the port by fishermen with ingredients chosen at random and mixed.

Its origin dates back to the fourteenth century in the villages of the west coast of the Gulf of Poets.
Others trace the recipe to when unloaders in La Spezia were paid in kind at the end of the day. They often received what was “leftover” from the unloading and embarkation of the ships. It often happened that the sacks of grains or legumes were opened or broken, and so, at the end of the day, the workers took home a little bit of everything they had recovered to make a soup.

ITALIANO

La mescciüa, scritto anche mesc-ciüa è un piatto tradizionale della cucina spezzina.

Ingredienti

  • legumi
  • cereali
  • fagioli secchi
  • grano
  • ceci
  • olio extravergine d’oliva
  • pepe in grani

Come preparare la Mescciüa

Tipica pietanza della cosiddetta “cucina povera”, la mescciüa è una zuppa di legumi e cereali, preventivamente lasciati macerare in acqua (per almeno 24 ore i fagioli secchi e il grano, per 48 ore i ceci) e successivamente fatti bollire con tempi di cottura differenti. I diversi ingredienti vengono poi uniti in un’unica pietanza, condita con olio extravergine d’oliva e pepe in grani.

Storia

Nel dialetto spezzino il termine “mesc-ciüa” significa “mescolanza” e deriva dalla circostanza che la zuppa era tradizionalmente preparata nella zona del porto dai pescatori con ingredienti scelti in maniera del tutto casuale e mescolati tra loro.

La sua origine sembra risalire al XIV secolo nei borghi della costa occidentale del Golfo dei Poeti.
Altri invece fanno risalire la ricetta a quando, gli scaricatori occasionali del porto della Spezia, venivano pagati in natura a fine giornata, spesso con ciò che “avanzava” dalle operazioni di sbarco e imbarco delle navi. Accadeva spesso, infatti, che si aprissero o si rompessero i sacchi di granaglie o di legumi e così, a fine giornata, i lavoranti si portavano a casa un po’ di tutto quello che si era recuperato per farne una zuppa.

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at enricomassetti@msn.com.