Terre di Pisa
In Liguria they call it farinata, in Massa and Carrara it becomes ‘Calda, calda’ (hot, hot), in Livorno a more colorful ‘5 e 5’, (‘5 lire di cecina e 5 lire di schiacciata’). In Versilia and Pisa it is simply ‘la cecìna’. Whatever you want to call it, it is a thin focaccia made with simple ingredients: chickpeas, oil, water and salt.
An excellent #StreetFood
The cecìna is found in pizzerias with both wood-burning and electric ovens. It is sold together with pizza and is, to use a term in vogue today, a street food. It is difficult to find cecìna in a pizzeria which does not sell pizza by the slice. It is actually a dish of the poor cuisine, with a slightly sweet taste, as chickpeas are.
According to experts, the perfect one should be crispy outside and soft inside. It should be eaten immediately because the crust may soften. It can be eaten alone or as a filling of focaccia or “tortino” (as they say in Pisa) accompanying it with a glass of blond froth.
Its origin seems to date back to August 1284, the inauspicious year of the battle of Meloria, where Pisa was defeated by the rival maritime republic of Genoa. At the return from which battle, the Genoese ships were involved in a storm and some barrels of oil and chickpea flour were overturned by bathing in salt water. The supplies were scarce, so that the mixture of chickpeas and oil dried in the August sun became a kind of pancake that the Genoese, to mock the defeated Pisans, called “the Gold of Pisa.