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Testaroli

Testaroli
Testaroli with pesto

Features: Simple scones made with flour, water, and salt, cooked in the characteristic earthenware pots after which they have been named.

Preparation: The ingredients include half kilo common wheat flour, 1/2 liter water, salt. Mix the flour with water and salt. Pile up the so-called "testetti" (the earthenware pots) on the fire, no more than fifteen at a time, for 10/12 minutes, so that they become red-hot. Take them off the fire using some tongs and pour one spoonful batter in each pot, except the last one, so that you can use it as a lid; pile them up again for further 5/6 minutes without putting them on the fire. The warmth of testetti will cook testaroli: when they are ready, you can eat them seasoned with oil and cheese or with pesto. They can also replace bread and be eaten with cold cuts or cheese.
Panigazzi spezzini derive from panico, a cereal similar to millet, an ingredient used to bake poor bread. Although they are very similar to testaroli, after cooking in testetti or even in bigger testi, they are chilled, cut into rhombs, and boiled. They are traditionally seasoned with pesto, oil, and cheese, or with mushroom or meat sauce, like lasagne. It is possible to cook testaieu also on hotplates or with the gas stove, but you won't obtain the same result.

Production Area: Val Graveglia, Val di Vara, La Spezia, and adjacent areas.

Curiosities: The Latins used to call "testa" bricks, roofing-tiles, terracotta or earthenware pots; the Ligurain people of the inland call "testetti" the earthenware pots used to cook testaieu, that is scones made with flour, water, and salt. Testetti are becoming a very rare product, since a few people can make them today. Testaroli are so good not for the ingredients used to prepare them - very simple ones - but for the cooking method implying the use of testetti piled up on the fire, becoming red-hot and ready to cook the batter.

The Producers
  Enoteca Pubblica della Liguria e della Lunigiana
Others - Castelnuovo Magra (SP)
  Azienda agricola La Rosa Canina di Marco Bonvicini
Agricultural Holdings - Lerici (SP)

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