Capon Magro

Another symbol of Ligurian cuisine is Capon Magro. Both among the street delicacies in Genova and in the more trendy restaurants on the coastlines. And also here at Mare Blu in Sanremo. Cappon magro is a curious dish of the ‘cucina povera’. Once composed of leftovers and fish of little importance, it has evolved over the years into a sumptuous preparation. Cappon magro is a cold fish dish that is in vogue. Chefs are creatively making their own versions of it.

According to Poalo of Mare Blu, Capon magro was invented by fishermen. It was made on the boat with only poor ingredients: vegetables, parsley, fish and things they could take with them at sea for a long time.  Foods for which they only needed oil and salt to preserve and prepare them. Old bread or cake, for example, is soaked in vinegar for this dish. His version at the restaurant also still contains the poor ingredients of yesteryear. “The preparation is quite cumbersome. But now it is a revalued dish and should not be missing in our kitchen. We now also add more expensive ingredients, such as a ‘gambero rosso’ and a mussel as a ‘finishing touch’.”

All the traditional Ligurian cookbooks I consulted for the recipe of Cappon Magro agree on the necessity of a number of ingredients : the sailor’s cakes (type of dried schiacciatine from Liguria) as a base, beautiful fresh fish, various vegetables, a green sauce and some shellfish, but they all leave a lot of room for interpretation, both in the specific choice of fish and vegetables, in the order in which the layers should be assembled, and especially in the final decoration.

Address: Mare Blu, Via Carli 5, Sanremo