SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The Corti Brothers store in Sacramento comes up with the most unusual combination of goodies from all over the world. With the holidays upon us it’s no surprise that this year’s are just as special as ever.

They have a bean soup that comes from Italy’s Liguria di Levante right at the edge of Tuscany. It’s called Mess-Ciua and it comes in a one-pound bag. The soup has a fascinating history, it dates back to sailors who used to pick up the bits of spilled grain and beans when they were loading the ship.

It’s evolved into a collection of garbanzos and Cannellini beans as well as three different whole grains; spelt, barley and red wheat.

You could use this as a base for a complex soup with meats, poultry or whatever, but the traditional soup consists of grains and beans where they are simply boiled together and served with pepper and a drizzle of wonderful fresh, green extra virgin olive oil.

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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