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Monferrato culinary delights


The Belecauda is a variation from Monferrato of the gruel, an ancient dish that recalls a poor and simple cookery, but rich of taste. The belecauda belongs to the Tuscan and Ligurian (as well as southern Piedmont) cookery folk.

There are many different Latin and Greek recipes that remind of baked vegetable pies made from mash tun and legumes. During the Middle Age, the dish spreads itself also in Genoa. According to a legend, this specialty would have been born by chance, when in the Meloria clash (in 1284) the Genoese fleet defeated the Pisan one.

The belecauda requires only four ingredients, which are olive oil, water, salt and pepper, and obviously chickpea flour. Its easy preparation facilitated its spreading. Throughout the years, the original recipe went through some changes that have brought to life the product we eat today.

belecauda cibodistrada_e

Belecauda photo by cibodistrada


A typical dish that encloses the entire Piedmontese tradition certainly is the famous Bagna Cauda. It is a warm sauce, made from garlic, anchovies, and olive oil, which is used to drunk any kind of vegetable.

It is a dish coming from the past, when rituals were ancestral pagan homages to the forces of nature. These rituals, during the Middle Age, were usually matched to various festivals by winegrowers and farmers. Today, the Bagna Cauda represents, to Piedmontese people, a typical dish of their cookery tradition, an occasion to sit down at the table altogether and pleasantly.


La Bagna Cauda


The Finanziera is a dish born in the medieval times, and today it belongs to the Piedmontese cookery tradition. Its first recipe that we have known of, was proposed by Maestro Martino back in 1450.

Even if it had been through many changes throughout the centuries, the Finanziera is still a poor dish, due to its preparation that requires all those discarded parts from turning the cockerels into capons, as well as all those casts-off coming from the cattle butchery. These parts are first floured, and then browned in a fry pan.


Another typical Piedmontese specialty, is the Ravioli al plin; this food is named after the gesture needed to enclose the stuffing inside the dough.

The Ravioli al plin, once cooked for few minutes into boiling water, can be accompanied with the classic seasoning made of butter and sage, or served with the sauce of the roasts used for their stuffing. 

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