Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Give me five & five!

A serving size of Cecina, also called
Farinata. A perfect snack!
 Situated in one of the most charming piazza’s in Florence on the Oltrarno (south side of the river) is a little café with an unsual name that opened up about one year ago. My mum and I, when walking through the piazza della Passera on a cold winter’s day, discovered it and when I saw the sign for Cecina in the window, a very tasty typical regional speciality that I knew she had never tried, we ducked in. Cecina is the perfect snack but it is not easy to find in Florence. It is something that I often see sold at growers markets around here, and now it seems that it will be a staple at this place the Cinque & 5 café, as the name actually refers to the lovely thin flat bread / pancake that you see in the photo. Cecina or Farinata as it is also known, is made from garbanzo bean flour (most commonly ) water and olive oil. The mixture is cooked in the oven and big slices are cut like pizza. Here at Cinque & 5 café, a slice costs 2.50 euro. 

look at the chalk board (bottom
right of the photo) you can
order Cecina as shown in the
above photo or a panino '5&5'

Cecina is very common in Livorno where they call the whole tray, from which the slices are cut, una torta – the Italian word for cake. It is sold in the tortai (translation of the word would be a ‘cake selling place’) which is misleading to the non-local as it doesn’t sell sweet but savoury goodies, pizza slices and the fabulous Cecina! These tortai are characteristically small and informal joints where you can chow down on some great, straight out of the oven, perfect winter snack food, a perfect ‘ferma-fame’. In Livorno the most common way to eat Cecina is cinque e cinque mode, or the ‘five and five’ way, which is a slice of the warm Cecina wrapped up in soft foccaccia bread with a substantial quantity of cracked pepper. The number five repeated refers to the price of the Cecina and the price of bread which cost both cost, some time ago, 5 lire. So if you wanted the Cecina sambo combo, which most did, then you just ordered a ‘5&5’. I love it, the Italians are cool even when they order food! This therefore explains the curious name of this great little biological café in my favourite Florentine square and why you can bet that Cecina is going to be a staple on their menu. Cinque & 5 café, Piazza della Passera 1, open everyday from 10am-10pm.

Buon appetito!

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try a five & five at this great little joint!