In the US, Donoughts, in the Uk, scones and in Florence Schiacciata!
Any trip to Florence is meaningless if you did not grab a bite, more specifically a Schiacciata’s bite.
It is quite singular how this very traditional and simple dish has literally conquered the world, being prepared and sold regularly in the US, UK, Africa and even UAE.
The schiacciata “the smashed” owes its name peculiar way this crispy-edged Tuscan flatbread is prepared and usually served as a snack with oil and oregano or appetizer for a very stylish aperitivo in Florence.
Despite the fact that there is a strong presence in renaissance literature of this delicacy, its resemblance to the arabic bread is so striking that many believe that Schiacciata is just the same Arabic bread but seasoned in a sharper way, which reflected the Florentine cuisine at the time.
The ceremony leading to the preparation of this dish is quite singular. Once the dough has risen in wooden or metal containers, the dough is then squashed and pressed against the pan with the hands.
This is subsequently brushed with pure olive oil, oregano and a pinch of salt: due to the cooking process, the outer part is cracker-like, with a strong texture whereas the interior remains light and chewy with loads of bubble air.
Schiacciata has become a strong element of the Florentine culture and it is in fact the preparation of Schiacciata is often executed at kindergarten since its preparation combines so
much effort, passion and ability which surely entertain the kids and make them intrigued by the whole process.
Schiacciata might be mistaken for focacce, other peculiar bread very famous in Italy, however the fluffier nature of the latter is what differentiates it from the Florentine counterpart, being furthermore less crispy and usually served plain or stuffed.
Feel like a noble from the renaissance, have a memorable schiacciata while in Florence, you learn history on only by the books, often when in Italy, you will learn by the food.