Bristol Palace, a journey though the flavours of Genoa
Fri, 05/21/2021 - 11:00
The Bristol Palace terrace
Genoa is a melting pot, a hybrid city by nature, whose multiculturalism and strong personality are reflected in its shops, its markets and its food. The Bristol Palace has always been an ambassador for this food culture. Today we embark on a voyage through Genoa and its tradition.
Ligurian cooking, from PDOs to street food
Genoa is a treasure trove of land-rooted flavours with almost 300 traditional agrifood products. The symbol of this special heritage is pesto. We’re referring of course to the fresh variety, PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) Genoese basil crushed in a mortar with PDO olive oil from the Ligurian Riviera, pine nuts, mature parmigiano reggiano or grana padano cheese, pecorino sardo cheese, a smidgen of garlic and sea salt. It’s the perfect sauce for traditional pasta shapes such as trenette, trofie and, why not, gnocchi. Other classic recipes are coniglio alla ligure, rabbit with taggiasca olives, vegetable pies and stuffed vegetables. Then there’s the street food: hence focaccia in a thousand shapes and forms, frisceu (vegetable fritters), farinata, baked chickpea flour, and panissa, chickpea polenta. Cakes and confectionery include pànera, invented in Genoa in the middle of the 19th century, a semifreddo made with fresh cream, ground coffee and sugar that can be eaten as an alternative to ice cream, pandolce, the typical Genoa Christmas cake made with raisins and candied fruits, canestrelli, semolina biscuits, torta sacripantina, a rich sponge cake, and dry biscotti del Lagaccio.
Onto the terrace for a Genoese feast
The terrace of the Ristorante Giotto is a refreshing oasis of cool, an area of 80 square metres open on the sides and surrounded by plants. Here, immersed in the scents of citrus trees, jasmine, lavender and aromatic plants, you can enjoy a lunch menu that conveys Liguria through the senses. Single-course meals are built around robust dishes such as grilled salmon, roast beef, chicken supreme and entrecôte of beef. For a quick break between a tour of the city and a trip to the beach, there’s also a vast range of tasty snacks to choose from. If you order à la carte, we recommend the dishes typical of Liguria and Genova. The mixed antipasto combines the best tradition has to offer on a single plate: stuffed vegetables, torta pasqualina, a savoury pie filled with egg, chard and prescinseua, a Ligurian cream cheese, insalata di polpo alla ligure (Ligurian octopus salad) and salame di Sant’Olcese, a salami ripened over a brazier and then air-dried. Of the pasta dishes, not to be missed are the trofie di Recco – a coastal town famous also for its focaccia – with pesto made with the delicately flavoured PDO Prà basil, grown on the hills surrounding the city. At dinner you can wind down over a dish of exquisite minestrone alla genovese, a wholesome vegetable, legume and pesto soup served with a special long, thin pasta shape, bricchetti della Valpolcevera (bricchetti meaning “matches” in Genoese dialect.