Similar to the more famous focaccia from Liguria, Schiacciata (which means squashed) is Tuscan flat bread flavored with olive oil and salt. It is the bread to eat in Tuscany where most bread is dry and flavorless due to an unfortunate lack of salt. Schiacciata, sometime also called Schiacciata all’Olio, traps the salt and olive oil on its dimpled service, leaving you to lick your fingers once you’ve finished. It can be enjoyed on its own, or split in half and stuffed with sliced meats or other fillings for a sandwich. Many bakeries offer two different types of schiacciata, one flat and crisp, the other thicker with a soft tender crumb. Some versions require multiple napkins to wipe your hands when you’re done, others you can eat neatly without worry. Florentines are so passionate about their schiacciata they will make treks up to the mountains surrounding Florence just to eat it.
Recommended: Pugi has been famous for their schiaciatta since 1925, but if you have time and a car, make a trek to Consuma a small village in the mountains between Florence and Arezzo where the large bar/bakery at the end of town is full of people who come all the way from Florence, and further, just to eat schiacciata. Try the schiacciata sandwich full of local porcini mushrooms.
Pugi: multiple locations; Piazza San Marco 9B, Florence. www.focacceria-pugi.it; tel: 055 280981. Closed Sunday.