Cioppino is a fish stew, popular along both coasts of the United States as well as in Italy, where the word cioppino comes from. The Italian inspiration for cioppino is known as zuppa di pesca , or “soup of fish.” Many cioppinos are made with a regional focus, integrating ingredients like Dungeness crab in San Francisco or lobster in Maine. Cioppino is similar to bouillabaisse, a French seafood stew, although it does not usually include saffron , a vital ingredient of bouillabaisse.
Cioppino was allegedly invented in San Francisco by Italian-American fishermen creating Americanized versions of seafood stews from home. Cioppino is characterized by a wide mixture of extremely fresh seafood, which might include mussels, clams, scallops , halibut , bass , shrimp, or anything else the cook can obtain. True cioppino ingredients change from day to day, depending on which fish are available and the location of the cook.