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finanziera

a rich offal dish with truffles and mushrooms

A rich, traditional winter dish dating back to the Middle Ages, made of cockscombs (creste), chicken livers, veal brains, filone (veal spinal marrow) and sweetbreads, pork innards and liver and occasionally even bull testicles, with mushrooms and sometimes truffles, in a rich white wine and butter sauce. It's often served warm, in a pastry case, and ideally should be savoured slowly with a bottle of Nebbiolo d'Alba.

Sometimes you'll see finanziera alla Cavour, recalling that it was the favourite dish of Count Cavour, who, while masterminding the unification of Italy under King Vittorio Emanuele, had a table permanently reserved at Turin's Ristorante del Cambio. He shared his love for the dish with the kingdom's financiers and bankers, who would end up at the Cambio after a long day at the exchange, and gave their name to dish (which is rather more elegant than one of the English translations we've seen: 'chicken livers, banker style').

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Langhenet