Ligurian pride: focaccia!
Flour, water, salt and yeast, yet it’s not bread . . . The word comes from the Latin “focus,” that is, baked on live fire. Soft, fluffy, glistening with olive oil, delicious! You can eat it on its own, with cheese or cold cuts.
As many of you know my Italian roots are Lugurian and we grew up making and eating ‘Fugassa’ in the Genoese dialect different from ‘Focaccia (and pronounced differently). This article from L’Italo Americano, the #1 source of all things Italian since 1908 describes the history of this non-bread.
In the 16th century, it became so popular it was even consumed during religious functions. Italy produces several types of focaccia, but the most famous are those coming from Liguria: beside its most traditional variety, about an inch high with holes in its surface and covered in olive oil, cheese focaccia is also popular which has a very old history and may date back years to the Third Crusade (1189).
This type of focaccia is thinner than its basic, traditional counterpart and is filled with a type of fresh cheese, giuncata, which was - and still is - only available in Liguria. This focaccia, typical of the town of Recco, and became known as focaccia di Recco at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was so popular it was rumored even the Infanta of Spain (the title given in the Iberian kingdoms of Spain and Portugal to the sons and daughters (infantas) of the king), had the habit to visit the village to enjoy it.
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Tony Moglia's grandparents immigrated from Italy in the early 1900's. He's a dual citizen who has traveled extensively throughout Italy for 40 years. He's happily married to a vibrant dancer who together have two children and three grandchildren. Tony has dreamed of Villas of Italy since his first trip to Italy, and now he shares his dream with you.