Focaccia is an ancient flatbread. The Romans used to give a grain-based focaccia to their gods as a holy offering. Focaccia was also considered a sacred food in the Christian culture based on the belief that bread is the body of Christ. Focaccia quickly became an important part of the daily life.
Ligurians are considered master focaccia makers, just the way Napoletans are known as the most knowledgeable and skilled pizza makers. The classic focaccia genovese is made with a combination of soft and hard wheat flour, mixed long and well, with yeast, oil, water and salt.
It is left to rise and then stretched out by hand onto baking sheets, greased with an emulsion of oil and a drop of white wine. The focaccia is cooked in the oven for about twenty minutes at medium-high heat. When it is done, the focaccia should be golden brown, shiny, crispy, breakable and full of flavor. You can add rosemary, onion, and oregano to season the focaccia, however the most traditional version calls for no extra flavorings.
Focaccia, also called fugassa, makes a great breakfast, quick lunch or snack. Due to its popularity, focaccia is now produced commercially and has become somewhat homogenized. Thankfully, you can still find bakers who prepare focaccia according to the traditional methods.
In the library
P. LINGUA, La cucina dei genovesi, Padova, F. Muzzio, 1989;
INSOR–Istituto nazionale di sociologia rurale, Atlante dei prodotti tipici: il pane, Roma, AGRA – RAI-ERI, 2000.