Cioppino is a devil-may-care West Coast bouillabaisse with as many recipes as there are cooks. Its originators were Italian fishermen who settled San Francisco’s North Beach in the late 19th century. They took the day’s catch, usually including crab, shrimp, clams, scallops, and mussels, and cooked them all (including shells) with flatfish in a seasoned tomato-wine sauce. As the Italian community became a tourist attraction in the 20th century, the colorful stew took on symbolic character and has since become as much a San Francisco signature as sourdough bread (with which it customarily is served).


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