Ceriana is an Italian village in Liguria Ponente, were my mother and her family come from. Since I was a child I always loved coming here, maybe because I feel the roots of my family connection to this place, maybe because I've always been fascinated of all the magical stories that have been told by the olds here in the village, or maybe because I really love eating local products like the sausages and the focaccia. Whatever the reason was, today I have one more reason for coming back here every time i'm visiting my parents, a restaurant, but a really special one, En tu Furnu. This place discovered by my mothers surprised both of us in all the aspects and I'll tell you why.
One day that my mum was coming back here visiting her village when she noticed that at the place of the traditional baker's oven, there was a restaurant. She entered in and saw a black woman in the open kitchen, she immediately thought: "Strange and curious this restaurant" then she asked if she was cooking some exotic dishes and to her surprise the answer was clear and direct: "No, madam. I cook dishes of Ceriana". Kind of surprised and incredulous, my mother sat down and ask for a portion of what she had prepared. Extraordinary, the taste of that dish brought my mum back at the age of five sitting at her grandmother's table, same scent, same appearance and same taste as the time had not passed. She was so surprised that the day after she came back with her cousin to try another dish and the result was still the same. She was really tasting the food that her grandma used to cook 50 years before. So, she decided to investigate a little, how was possible that that woman from Honduras knew exactly how to cook as in Ceriana's tradition? Here is her story: She used to live in another region and one day she met a young guy, they fell in love and moved to his village, Ceriana. The boy used to work in the family business with his father selling and delivering tanks for the houses, but as almost every one in the village they were also busy with their fields cultivating olive trees, so the lady started helped them bringing the tanks into people's homes. Here it's were everything started, because the gas always ends when you're cooking, every time she entered in the houses she used to smell the scents of those recipes that made her mouth watering. So, because she loved to cook she started to ask the recipe to the people of the village while replacing their tanks, and as soon as she was home she tried and tried the recipe again until she got exactly the same perfume that she had smelled. Finally they got married and one day her husband had the idea of opening a small restaurant, which is now "En tu furnu", this lady living of her passion, cooking traditional Ligurian recipes, is such an awesome and inspiring person. She receives postcards from her clients all over the world and people who have come here send their friends, because her cooking it's just magical.
This is also what astonished me the first time I came here, you can feel the love she puts in every dish and taste the original recipe from Liguria that my grand mother used to cook. There is no menu, you got what's cooked that day, and everything is absolutely home made including her delicious fresh made pasta and the regional Pesto.
Only one little thing, this place is really small so, if you are visiting Ceriana, just call or drop by and book a table to be sure to have a spot because it's always full of people, but having a lunch or a dinner here will plunge you at my grand mother table as you were invited by a Ligurian family for dinner.
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