I-ATE FOOD TERM OF THE WEEK: 5&5, The Labronic version of Farinata

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If you have ever wondered what the best street food is, a possible answer is a good 5 and 5!

Chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper are the key ingredients for a simple but delicious dish. The mixture of these ingredients results in a liquid and smooth compound that can be cooked in different ways. In Leghorn, a small seaside town on the Tuscan coast, it has become an institution. If Farinata is the most common name to call this mixture, chickpea cake is the name that the people of Leghorn citizens have decided to give it. The originality of the Leghorn variant lies in having created a sandwich filled with chickpea cake, which the locals call 5 and 5.

Its origins are ancient, and a legend lurks behind this dish. In the 13th century, there was a battle that was fought off the coast of Leghorn, close to the Meloria, a shoal off the coast of Tuscany in the Ligurian Sea. In 1214, Pisans and Genoese clashed in a bloody battle that led to the latter’s detriment. Immediately after the clash, it is said that a Genoese ship in charge of transporting Pisan prisoners ended up in the fury of a storm that severely damaged the hold that held a massive amount of barrels of olive oil and chickpeas. The chickpeas soaked with seawater and all the elements mixed created an uninviting mush. Then the sailors, tired and hungry, left the mush in the sun, hoping that drying could become more appetizing: and so it was! From that battle, the Genoese brought back to their land the same recipe that they called “l’oro di Pisa” (the gold of Pisa) because of its golden colour and the origins of the adversaries belonging to the Pisan fleet. Having spread along the Adriatic coasts, the Leghorn locals interpreted the dish by making the chickpea pie, a filling for the sandwich.

The name “cake” probably derives from the pan in which it is cooked: a huge circular copper pan that resembles the shape of a cake. In this way, a sort of parachute scrounge is created that pours into the pan. Everything is then cooked in a wood-fired oven. The result is a very fine chickpea flour focaccia that is crunchy on the surface and soft on the inside. For an all-around experience, the tradition wants it to be eaten in a French sandwich, as a sort of “panino” and accompanied by a glass of ice-cold blond foam. For the citizens of Leghorn, this sandwich represents the symbol of their city, called precisely 5 and 5. The peculiarity of the name comes from the cost of bread and cake. Before the Euro arrived in Italy, the currency was the Lira, so every time you went to the “tortaio” (the one who makes the chickpea cake), you asked for a “5 e 5”, 5 cents of bread and 5 cents of cake! For the greedy ones, it is possible to taste the 5 e 5 also with eggplants in oil and smoked ham for an even more unique experience. It is unbelievable that it has so much fame in the labronic area, to have obtained the “5 and 5 day” to be celebrated, not coincidentally, on May 5.

References:

La torta di ceci e il 5&5 [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.comune.livorno.it/_cn_online/indexe544.html?id=1010&lang=it [Accessed 19/04/2022].

5E5 PANE E TORTA [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cnalivorno.it/associazione-tortai-livornesi/ [Accessed 19/04/2022].

Torta di Ceci – Kichererbsenpizza [ONLINE] Available at: https://toskanaitalien.de/torta-di-ceci-kichererbsenpizza/  [Accessed 20/04/2022].

 Cinque e cinque (5e5) – Chickpea Sandwich [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.facarospauls.com/apps/italian-food-decoder/10808/cinque-e-cinque-5e5 [Accessed 20/04/2022].


Written by Francesca Paparella

Francesca is an Italian student currently enrolled at the University of Luxembourg, attending a Master’s programme in Communication in Multilingual contexts. Passionate about foreign languages and cultures, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Languages, Literatures and Intercultural Studies in Italy at the University of Florence. She is now doing a Study Visit as part of her Master’s Programme at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament.