Italian Bread, Essential Tradition
You can get the impression that Italy is a country where bread is consumed at all hours; however, it is not consumed more in comparison to the Germans, Spanish or French. Of course, no food can miss a slice of this delicious food.
Perfect as an entry, accompaniment, soup or dessert, since antiquity has never been missing from the table. In Roman times, the baking industry was so important that by the year 100 BC. 258 bakeries and a school of bakers had been censused in Rome.
During the Renaissance the bread was present in the opulent banquets of the Medici, as well as in modest lunches by Leonardo Da Vinci, and they say that the famous artist Miguel Ángel, was fed exclusively on bread. In Italy there are about 200 types, their varieties as well as preparations continue to change, but always hand in hand with tradition.
BREADS OF LONG TRADITION
Italian cuisine, very famous for preserving its gastronomic traditions, still makes two breads based on ancient recipes. One of them, baked in the province of Salerno, is the pane di padula; a mixture of durum wheat semolina and soft wheat flour. On the loaf squares are drawn, which resemble the loaves represented in the mosaics of Pompeii.
Another bread with a long tradition, is the Basilica di Basilicata. The Roman poet Horacio, praised the delicious dough obtained with durum wheat semolina, doubly ground and the irresistible aroma bread baked in a wood oven.
Due to its enormous symbolic value, the bread in Italy is hardly thrown away. Each part has a purpose in the kitchen, the rinds are used to link soups, crumbs, to thicken sauces and the remains of hard bread, into soups and salads.
This delicious bread comes from Liguria, although it is said that the Roman soldiers were the pioneers in enjoying and making this type of bread, as they made their loaves by grinding wheat and baking them in temporary ovens.
Although there are several theories of where the Focaccia comes from, the one that has greater recognition is that this type of bread comes from the ancient Greeks, who characterize this delight by bathing the bread with different spices.
The adaptation of this recipe in Liguria has not modified the original ingredients, but it has added others with which it enhances its flavor. The specialty of this region is called “focaccia con formaggio” (Foccacia con queso) and is often made from Recco, a town near Genoa.
There are different theories about the birth of this exquisite companion. The most outstanding is that which tells how the baker of the court Antonio Brunero, invented this bread to feed the new prince in 1679.
The characteristics that bread should have, crispy and very light for digestion, should provide the prince with an easy digestion, free of starch water by extensive cooking.
The transformation of this food during the passage of time, has derived its form in sticks or sticks in the form of bark, firm and light consistency, which serves as a companion and as input.
When we speak of the Fornarina, the first thing that stands out and comes to mind is a beautiful painting called “La Fornarina” or, Ritrato di Giovane Donna (Portrait of a young woman).
For this portrait he posed who was then the daughter of the baker, hence his name Fornarina, lover of the artist and author Refael Sanzio. Although it seems that the food and the painting have no relation whatsoever, they are united by the art itself, since the characteristic bread smoothness allows it to be coupled with different accompaniments, sweet and salty, establishing a perfect harmony of flavors and textures.
This union of elements between the bread and its companions, does not belong to any particular region, which makes it free for adaptations but of great attachment to Italian food.