From our good friend Steve Maslow, who loves Italy, in particular the region of Liguria, and Gustiamo! Mesciua is a typical recipe from La Spezia, Liguria. All the ingredients in this recipe are carried by Gustiamo. Perfect! This is Steve’s lovely article:

6a00e55029641d88340162fe172fbb970d-800wiFoodies, poets and musicians have loved La Spezia at least since Ancient times: the Romans named the city “Species” (Spezia in the local Ligurian dialect) meaning ‘splendor’: perhaps for its imposing location, between mountains and sea, at the top of a spectacularly beautiful harbor;

6a00e55029641d8834015438d9aa22970c-120wior perhaps they named it for the mussels that grow in the surrounding waters, so highly prized by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa (1122-1110), that he decreed any Ligurian delegation visiting him must bring a shield filled with the plump delicacies, or maybe Spezia was named for the incomparable beauty of its Gulf which drew Dante, Shelly and Byron, DH Lawrence, Baroness Emma Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel) and Countess Elena Visconti (La Straniera) to live by its shores.

6a00e55029641d883401675f0b6e49970b-800wiMost famously, Wagner claimed that the sight of the Sea off La Spezia inspired the opening measures of his best-loved work, the monumental tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen.

We do not know if it is the water or the air or the natural beauty, but we do know a great cuisine when we eat it.


Not surprisingly we at Gustiamo are ourselves inspired by the way the foods of La Spezia reflect the way in which man and nature have been sustaining each other there for more than two millennia. We sampled mesciua, the best-known ‘spezia-lity’ of La Spezia at the Ristorante All’inferno, near the city’s fish market.  Click here for recipe. It’s a wonderful soup and it uses all Gustiamo‘s ingredients.

Steve Maslow

Join the Conversation

  1. I’m from Liguria and I had Mesciua several times, it really delicious!
    I heartily recommend this recipe to everybody!

  2. Steve Maslow says:

    I thought you were handsome,
    even before I knew
    you were from Liguria,
    but now I think
    you are tall and you sing well too.
    Buona Mescuia e felice anno nuovo!
    –L’altro Stefano

Comments are closed.