Ciopino (July 1917)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Dec 6 17:01:58 UTC 2001

   Greetings from the Library of Congress, where, as expected, POKER, SMOKE AND OTHER THINGS (1907), the book on smoking and drink that's missing from the NYPL, is also missing here.
   It's CIOPINO here, not CIOPPINO.

Volume 3
San Francisco, July 1917
Number 3

Pg. 130, col. 1:

   The ciopino (pronounced chipeno) is one of the simplest, healthiest and cheapest ways of cooking fish.  Originated by Italians, it is cooked and eaten by them almost exclusively.   Ciopino is a great dish among the fishermen, some practically living on it because of its healthfulness and muscle-building qualities, and the ease with which it is prepared.  When fishermen are out on trips for days at a time the only supplies that are taken are bread, wine, a little coffee and the ingredients that are used to make up a ciopino, depending on their luck to catch the needed fish.  Butter is never used in the preparation of the ciopino, olive oil taking its place.  There are a great many kinds of ciopino; that is, most of the people that cook it prepare the dish in a slightly different way.  Sometimes it is what one might call fancy, shellfish, celery, parsley, wine, etc., being used in the preparation.  But the kind generally prepared by the fisher folk is very simple and inexpensive, the olive oil used being the most expensive ingredient.  Some prefer salad oil, which is less expensive and not quite so rich.  The large sized fishes are generally used in making the ciopino on account of th
e size of the bones.  Most any of the larger sized ocean fishes, such as the rock fishes, rock bass, sea bass, halibut, and barracuda, can be used.  The wings of the skate are highly prized among the Italian fishermen for a ciopino; striped bass are very fine.  Several different varieties of fish are sometimes (Col. 2--ed.) used.  The ciopino is neither a roast, chowder nor a fry.  In America, it would probably be nearer a pot roast than anything else.  In preparing a ciopino the whole fish is used including the head, which contains some of the best part of the fish.
   Ciopino, such as is made by the fishermen, is prepared as follows:

   For five people use from three to five pounds of fish sliced in fairly large pieces, then prepare one or two onions, depending on size, by chopping them up quite fine.  Place in a stewpot one-half cup of olive oil (salad oil may be used) and add the onions, frying them until yellow, in the meantime adding several cloves, garlic, and a little parsley.  Add a can of tomatoes (raw tomatoes may be used) and cook for about ten minutes.  If potatoes are used (a great many never use potatoes in the preparation) they should then be added and cooked for five to ten minutes.  Add fish, covering it well with the tomatoes, onions, etc., season with salt, and rather highly with pepper or paprica, put on the lid and let simmer until done.  Don't stir.  A little water may be added if desired.  Serve in a deep plate.  Ciopino may be poured over French or Italian bread.

   Owing to the present high cost of living, the people should take advantage of the cheaper kinds of fish, which when properly prepared are just as good and represent just as much food value as the more expensive kinds.  Get the ciopino habit and fool the butcher several times a week.--H. R. NIDEVER.

(A bit better explanation than in "the world's greatest culinary encyclopedia," newly revised--ed.)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list