Monday, 1 June 2015

Torteria Da Gagarin Via del Cardinale Livorno Italy 21st May 2015

Torteria Da Gagarin is renowned for its "Cinque e Cinque" or Five and Five which is a pancake made from chickpea flour, water and olive oil sandwiched between two pieces of bread, either focaccia or Italian baguette.   Its name originates from when focaccia bread and chickpeas cost 5 liras each

We had read the reviews on Tripadvisor which were excellent, so on a recent visit to Livorno one of the ports of call on a cruise, we had to pay this place a visit.   From the outside, I have to say, it is not impressive, in fact we would normally walk right on past, the only clue to it being the right place is the name "Viva Gagarin" written in red graffiti on the wall outside but peeking through the fly-screen we could see the place was packed, so in we went.

They only serve two types of "Cinque e Cinque" with or without "Melanzane" chargrilled aubergine.  The place is quite small with a counter top round the outside of the room with a few high stools for seating, with a serving counter at the far end and a big wood burning oven in the wall behind.   A lady was taking orders and a chap was making the pancakes in huge round pans.   We ordered two made with focaccia and aubergine with the only other accompaniment being black pepper.   Luckily we managed to get a seat inside and sat down with anticipation.   The "Cinque e Cinque" did not disappoint it was awesome.   The pancake was so moist with tons of olive oil and the aubergine was delicious soaked in garlic, olive oil, red chillies and herbs.   The place was a hive of activity with people coming and going, finally queuing outside the door, a sure sign of good food.   We are still talking about our visit even though a week has gone by, this place is definitely on the revisit list if we ever return to Livorno.