Focaccia Bread and Its History

Updated: Aug 8

Focaccia Bread has its roots in Greek and Etruscan culture before it made its way into Italy. It is a flatbread topped with olive oil, spices and herbs which has been consumed by people for more than a thousand years. It is an independent recipe, which many believe has morphed into the famous Italian pizza. Focaccia has undergone many upgradations and evolutions, however, the basic recipe has remained unchanged.

In Italy, there are several cities and regions specializing in the production of focaccia: Liguria is definitely the region with more tradition from this point of view. The two most famous are the expressions of the Ligurian focaccia are the one made in Genova, followed by the Recco cheese one. Throughout Liguria every bakery offers focaccia (fugassa) and its differently seasoned variants. Focaccia is not a Pizza for it is 2000 years older than Pizza.


Genoa {(Genova) is a port city and the capital of northwest Italy's Liguria region} claims authorship of the Focaccia bread made with a bread dough which is not higher than 2 cm, seasoned with olive oil and enriched with rock salt, herbs, and other ingredients such as onion or olives. The Recco focaccia is made from an unleavened bread dough which is very thin and filled with fresh cheese (as crescenza), closed again and then fired.


Traditionally a speciality reserved for All Saints Day celebrations, a fugassa cö formaggio (meaning 'focaccia with cheese' in the local dialect) won over the growing flock of summer visitors to the Ligurian coast in the 1950s with its uniqueness and simplicity: a generous layer of oozing, melted soft cheese sandwiched between two transparent, paper-thin layers of dough. Recco's bakers and trattoria owners responded in kind to this newfound demand for their irresistibly cheesy delight by baking it year-round. Over the years, Recco's fugassa cö formaggio has become such a revered delicacy in Italy that it was granted IGP (protected geographical indication) status by the European Union in 2012.


In the South of Italy and especially in Apulia, focaccia is flavoured in several ways: with extra virgin olive oil, olive pomace oil or olive oil. The peculiarity of Apulian focaccia is the presence of cherry tomatoes, which bring it closer to the pizza as a kind of seasoning and using boiled potatoes in the dough, making it softer and giving it a special taste.

You can add other flavours in your Focaccia Bread with toppings include olives, mushrooms, green onions and tomatoes

One way to add other flavours is with toppings include olives, mushrooms, green onions and tomatoes. Since Focaccia can be sliced in half, it is often also used for making sandwiches. A sweet version of Focaccia bread can be eaten for dessert. It is made with Focaccia that is sprinkled with sugar and incorporated with the dough are raisins, honey or maple syrup.

Source(s): ItalyMagazine, TheSpruceEats, DeliciousItaly,HomemadeItalianBread, Pizzafacts

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