Many food specialties in La Spezia area come from the hinterland. Two of them are Panigacci and Testaroli, made from the same dough with slight differences in preparation and traditions.
“But what is the difference between panigacci and testaroli?” You might wonder during a stay between Deiva Marina and Lunigiana. It’s not easy to give a definite and convincing answer and you might hear different and conflicting explanations.
The truth is that panigacci and testaroli are two typical dishes of the poor cuisine of Lunigiana that arise from a very similar mixture (that of panigacci is just more dense), but differ in terms of preparation and consumption (although it must be admitted that there is someone who loves making things more confusing, serving panigacci as it is traditionally done with testaroli).
The common dough
Both panigacci and testaroli are made from a simple batter:
Nothing more simple and easier to prepare than that. In general, the batter is a bit ‘more dense for the preparation of panigacci and a bit’ more fluid for testaroli, but the difference between the two dishes is definitely not in this.
The difference lies in the cooking, which requires – to prepare as per tradition – the wood oven and is what makes it difficult to replicate the recipe on home stoves.
Testaroli, cooked in cast iron
Panigacci, made from testi of clay pots
What to do in Lunigiana and nearby