As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, you’ll want to eat something that will warm you up like your mother’s stew used to. Before reaching for another chicken noodle soup can, try something new— try Cioppino.
Cioppino is an Italian-style stew of fish and shellfish cooked with tomatoes, spices, herbs, and our favorite ingredient, wine. There’s much debate over when and where this tasty dish originated, but it is most often suggested that Cioppino was first served up in San Francisco after Italian immigrants docked at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s likely that the dish was created on fishing boats as fishermen put together canned goods with the left over catch of the day since they didn’t have refrigeration at sea. The name Cioppino itself comes from the word “ciuppin,” which translates to “chopped” in the Genoan dialect, and describes how the stew was made from chopped up leftovers. Today, Cioppino has secured its position as a signature Bay Area culinary specialty and is considered as San Franciscan as the Golden Gate Bridge, The Giants, or cable cars.
Typically, the fish and shellfish used in the stew depends on the catch of the day, so the ingredients and recipes for Cioppino differ greatly from chef to chef. It’s easy to put your own personal touch on your Cioppino stew, but in case you’re looking for inspiration, try out Alioto’s Restaurant’s famous recipe.
Alioto’s has been located on Fisherman’s Wharf for 90 years, making it the oldest family owned and operated restaurant in San Francisco. In 1938, Rose Alioto opened the Italian restaurant. It was then that Cioppino first appeared on a menu. To this day, the dish remains one of the most iconic options at the restaurant and Alioto’s itself has become a San Francisco landmark, famous for their seafood specialties like the Cioppino. Check out Rose’s original recipe below.
However, if you’d rather sit back and let someone else do the cooking, join us at the Paso Robles Inn on November 6th for the 7th Annual Cioppino & Vino cook-off from 1pm to 4pm. Sample delicious Cioppino dishes from some of the most talented chefs in the area, coming from restaurants like Fish Gaucho, Paso Terra, and more. Several of our favorite wineries will also be participating in the event, including Eberle Winery, Broken Earth Winery, and Peachy Canyon! The event will feature cioppino tasting from local chefs, wine tasting, cheese tastings, and live and silent auctions along with live music. Proceeds from Cioppino & Vino will benefit the Paso Robles Children’s Museum, so buy your tickets today! To learn more about the event, click here.