Focaccia al formaggio is a speciality from Recco. It has already the IGP (Indicazione Geografica Prottetta) protection symbol. It means that it can be produced only in some indicated places. However, the most important thing is that for me it is the best speciality from Liguria …. and also probably one of the tastiest dishes that you can eat in Italy !!! 🙂
This dish was invented in Recco. It was very important especially in the periods when inhabitants of the town had to hide in the nearby mountains from the Saracens pirates. The essential thing was that focaccia was very easy to prepare, especially under field conditions. It was enough to mix flour, olive oil and cheese and then cooked them together on a hot rock.
The first mention about this dish comes from the period of the Third Crusade. In 1189 the abbey of San Fruttuoso (more here) received crusaders from Liguria that departed out from here to the Holy Land. One of the dishes that was served during the dinner of their departure was a thin, local pie filled with a liquid cheese called focaccia al formaggio 🙂
At the end of the XIX century, Recco had 5 bakeries that prepared focaccia al formaggio. Then at the beginning of the XX century, the first osterie and trattorie (more about the types of the Italians restaurant here) started serving that delicious dish.
However, the pie became famous at the beginning of the 50’s when the first tourists started visiting Recco. They all fell in love with it and in this way, the fame of focaccia al formaggio was begun.
In 2012 the IGP indication (Protected Geographical Indication) was given to focaccia al formaggio. And in 2013 the dish was recognized also by European Union as a regional, typical, protected dish. It means that the real focaccia al formaggio can be prepared only in Recco, Camogli, Sori and Avegno (all small villages located close to Recco).
Ingredients and preparation are not very complicated … however, remake the same flavour and consistency of the original focaccia al formaggio is extremely difficult. The most complicated part is doughs preparation.
Ingredients (diameter about 60cm, for about 10 persons)
500 g flour
50 g Italian olive oil
1 kg fresh, Ligurian cheese (stracchino or crescenza)
At first, you have to prepare the dough. You need mix together flour, water, salt and olive oil. When the dough is smooth, you put aside it for about 30 minutes. After that, you divide the dough into two parts. Then take the first part and flat it. It has to be very thin. After that put it on a baking tray and add small pieces of stracchino or crescenza. Then you have to cover everything with the second part of the dough that you have flatted before. You put together both parts of the dough and put everything in an oven. The oven has to be preheated to 270 /320° C. Focaccia al formaggio has to be cooked about 4/8 minutes. It is ready when its colour becomes gold. And that’s all. Your focaccia al formaggio is ready! 🙂
Where to eat focaccia al formaggio?
Of course in Recco 🙂 Wherever you go, it will be delicious. However, below I list you my 2 favourite restaurants of Recco that prepare fantastic focaccia al formaggio.
- Ristorante Manuelina via Roma 296, Recco (more here) – it is located in a hinterland of Recco and it is one of the historic focaccieria of Recco 🙂
- Pizzeria del Ponte via Marconi 11, Recco (more here) – it is located in the town centre of Recco. Lastly, it became one of the most popular places where to eat focaccia al formaggio (booking is recommended)
The feast of focaccia al formaggio
Every year, in Recco, during the last weekend of May the feast of focaccia al formaggio is organized. In these days everybody eats as much focaccia al formaggio as it is possible. This year the feast will be organized on May 27th. Focaccia al formaggio is served from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. It is a fantastic way to try this delicious, Ligurian dish…. however you have to be prepared for crowds …
Of course, I strongly recommend you to go to Recco and try this amazing speciality! You will love it!
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