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 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 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 to as make eating a messy endeavor, but with crisp caramelized sugar on the edges.
Sometimes it is almost a bread, sometimes it is a grape topped cake, and sometimes it is a wedge of grape tart, but the underlying flavor unities them all. You can also find versions with seedless grapes – but any good Italian knows, grapes always taste better with seeds.
Recommended: Il Buon Pane. Via Via Giovanni Bocaccio 47r, Florence; tel:+39 055 5048367