Golossary: Schiacciata all’Uva

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The taste of Tuscany in September! This uber traditional dessert dates back centuries, an indulgent recipe for the time, due to its sugar – it was nevertheless a frugal way of using an overabundance of ingredients, in this case wine grapes. Even today, schiacciata all’uva swarms the shelves of bakeries, pasticcerias and supermarkets throughout Tuscany from late August to early October. Its appearance coincides with the grape harvest, and the small sweet grapes are tossed with sugar and layered between two layers of bread dough, topped with more grapes, a dusting of sugar, and the oft-present aromatic addition of rosemary or anice and then thrown in the oven.

The grapes cook down, concentrating their sugars and juices to become super sweet and syrupy. Rustic versions, show the dish’s origins; a thick layer of slightly sweet bread dough topped with grapes and sugar, chopped rosemary in the dough for aroma, that’s it! It makes a lovely breakfast. Other versions are most definitely dessert, super thin layers of dough which can barely sandwich the grapes, completely saturated with the natural syrup making eating a messy endeavor, but with crisp caramelized sugar on the edges.

Although you can find the schiacciata with seedless grapes, purists would not deign to eat them, and will go so far to seek out those cooked in a wood burning oven. Variations also exist with figs or walnuts.

Recommended: Il Buon Pane. Via Via Giovanni Bocaccio 47r, Florence; tel:+39 055 5048367

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