A look into Genoese food: Friscieu

Genoa is rich in history and beauty. Once it was unappreciated for tourism and leisure but now the number of visitors is increasing more and more. In the last years, the city is learning how to deal with tourists by promoting more events, tours and natural attractions. In 2004 Genoa was elected as European Capital of Culture and in 2006 its spectacular row of Palazzi dei Rolli (dignitaries’ palaces) were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. This helped to increase the interest in this ancient Italian seaport. As in any Italian city, what a tourist can’t miss is the typical food. Genoa offers a large number of gastronomic specialities. All of you surely know pesto and focaccia, but there’s more.


The typical Genoese food is very simple, made of few ingredients but always rich in aromatic herbs. Today I want to talk about friscieu, a Genoese word that indicates fried batter balls filled with herbs, whitebait or stock fish, used as an appetizer or snack, omnipresent in major fairs and festivals of the region.


You can eat this oily delicious food in the friggitorie or in the sciamadde, typical shops in Sottoripa, the area facing the Aquarium, that offer Genoese specialities to take away. Another way to eat friscieu is to take a late afternoon aperitivo, a drink served with finger food included in the price.


  • 500g wheat flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • a packet of yeast
  • chives
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • water
  • salt and pepper


Take the flour, sift and dissolve it in water until the mixture is smooth and blended, eliminating any lumps. Pour the mixture into a container, add the baking powder, the two egg yolks and salt. Let the mixture covered for 1/2 hours. Pour extra virgin oil in a deep saucepan for frying. Stir the mixture, add the chopped chives, then use a spoon to pick up the mixture to form small portions in the saucepan.  After reaching the perfect browning, drain the friscieu through a strainer. Finally, put them on a plate covered with paper to reduce the presence of oil. Add further salt and serve hot. In friscieu can be added even lettuce or cod.