Cioppino (, ; from lij|cioppin ) is a fish stew
originating in San Francisco
. It is an Italian-American
dish and is related to various regional fish soups
and stews of Italian cuisine
Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in San Francisco is typically a combination of Dungeness crab
and fish, all sourced from the ocean, in this case the Pacific. The seafood is then combined with fresh tomatoes
in a wine
The dish can be served with toasted bread, either local sourdough
or French bread. The bread acts as a starch, similar to a pasta, and is dipped into the sauce.
Cioppino was developed in the late 1800s by Italian immigrants who fished off Meiggs Wharf
and lived in the North Beach
neighborhood of San Francisco, many from the port city of Genoa
. When a fisherman came back empty handed, they would walk around with a pot to the other fishermen asking them to chip in whatever they could. What ever ended up in the pot became their Cioppino. The fishermen that chipped in expected the same treatment if they came back empty handed in the future.
It later became a staple as Italian restaurants proliferated in San Francisco.
The name comes from ''ciuppin'' (also spelled ''ciupin'') which is the name of a classic soup from the Italian region Liguria
, similar in flavor to cioppino but with less tomato and using Mediterranean seafood cooked to the point that it falls apart.
The dish also shares its origin with other regional Italian variations of seafood stew similar to ''cioppin'', including ''cacciucco
'' from Tuscany
, ''brodetto di pesce
'' from Abruzzo
Similar dishes can be found in coastal regions throughout the Mediterranean, from Portugal to Greece. Examples of these include ''suquet de peix
'' from Catalan-speaking regions
'' from Provence
The earliest printed description of cioppino is from a 1901 recipe in ''The San Francisco Call
'', though the stew is called "chespini.” "Cioppino" first appears in 1906 in ''The Refugee's Cookbook'', a fundraising effort to benefit San Franciscans displaced by the 1906 earthquake and fire
Generally the seafood is cooked in broth and served in the shell, including the crab, which is often served halved or quartered. It therefore requires special utensils, typically a crab fork
. Depending on the restaurant, it may be accompanied by a bib to prevent food stains on clothing, a damp napkin and a second bowl for the shells. A variation, commonly called "lazy man's cioppino", is served with shells pre-cracked or removed.
Cioppino became the title for a recurring lecture series at a banquet at the Urbino Summer School of Paleoclimatology (USSP) when it was realised that Italians had never heard of the dish but that its roots lied with Italian-Americans for mixing and stirring things from land and sea.
* List of regional dishes of the United States
* List of seafood dishes
* List of soups
* List of stews
Gianni's North Beach
Video plus text, presenting the dish as a Christmas Eve stew
Category:Cuisine of the San Francisco Bay Area