Oh, by Gosh...I didn't want to stir up a hornets' nest!I mean I don't want to claim the italian origin of Cioppino or maintain that our Ciuppin is better or more "original" than SF Cioppino! BTW, I agree with Athenaeus when he, or she, says that those recipes were not codified, but varied depending on the fish coming from the day's catch and the vegetables the housewives had at home.
More, there's no doubt that Ciuppin and Cioppino are different recipes, for the simple reason that Ciuppin is a fish cream and doesn't contain any recognizable piece of fish, while Cioppino, if I have understood well, contains fish pieces in a tomato sauce, being much more similar to another Ligurian fish soup called "Buridda". I like more considering all these recipes as daughters of the same, old mother, that's not Ligurian or Italian, but generally Mediterranean...and please don't tell me that any dish containing tomato must be considered American! We have had tomato for 500 years and this sounds to me like a nonsense:)
Well...coming back to fish soup recipes, I checked all my Ligurian cookbooks and found many Ciuppin (NOT Cioppino!) recipes. They're all almost the same, except for some points:
1) The kind of fish used (see above!). Someone simply says "soup fish", that here means a mix of mullets, scorpion fish and other varieties whose English names I don't know. The most sophisticated recipes use loup de mer, daurades, prawns and shrimps. One recipe also contains octopus.
2)The kind of vegetables and herbs. All the recipes contain carrots, celery and persil, but onions, garlic and even tomato ;) seem to be optional. Many recipes contain oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil and/or saffron. One recipe contains orange peel.
3) The fish cooking time, which vary between 20 mins and 2 hours. This doesn't seem a critical point since in any case you're supposed to pass the soup through a sieve and reheat it before serving.
The recipe I have chosen is the most famous I got and comes from the restaurant "Palma" in Alassio, which is particularly renowned for its Ciuppin. I have tasted it and can confirm it's true!:lips:
I must stop now (whew!) but coming back soon with the recipe...
Pongi, your talkative Italian friend