Schiacciata, literally meaning “squashed,” is the hands-on Tuscan approach to bread and will be celebrated this weekend June 20 – 21 (10 am – 10 pm; Lucolena, Greve in Chianti).
The tiny town of Lucolena will be filled with the smell of delicious bread baking all day for the weekend. The professional baker of the town will be tending the oven, centered in the main piazza, with help from the locals, making fresh schiacciata all’olio as fast as they can. Because this is a traditional Tuscan snack, it seemed the obvious choice to feature for the festival; it is sometimes considered a middle ground between focaccia and pizza.
The bread usually comes in three varieties, thin, soft, and traditional, though its basic recipe of flour, yeast, and water allows for an infinite amount of possibilities in the final product. The Tuscan recipe calls for olive oil, salt, and thumbs: before baking, finger-pressed dimples all over the dough are filled with the oil and topped with sprinkled salt.
The high, soft schiacciata is often used for sandwiches, and this weekend’s filling options include tomato and mozzarella, baked ham and fontina cheese, salami, prosciutto, and Nutella, or even toppings of fresh tomato and onion. The traditional and thin breads are generally regarded as too salty to be paired with these cured meats, but rest assured, are delicious on their own.
Supplementing the schiacciata, freshly fried ficattole will also be on the menu. These versatile bread balls work as a salty or savory snack, and will be served with prosciutto or nutella.
The program also features a market and entertainment. There will be clowns and kites for the kids, and cart races down a hill on Saturday night; Sunday will feature traditional Tuscan music.
For more information, see turismo.intoscana.it (bianca cockrell)