The Barese focaccia, a delicious ambassador of cuisine and street food made in Bari
Succulent “hungry-breaker”, wonderful mid-morning snack, tasty aperitif before dinner: this is the Barese focaccia, the queen of street food in Bari. There is any house party, any dinner with friends, or a formal event without focaccia at the table. Every hour of the day, in every part of the city, you will always find someone biting a steaming and fragrant piece of focaccia, soft and crispy at the same time. Enjoy it with us!
The Barese focaccia is one of the variants of the focaccia that can be found throughout Italy, and as well as the others it also has its uniqueness. It is located in all the bakeries of the city and the province, but it is worth mentioning at least the oldest, Panificio Fiore, a few steps from the Basilica of San Nicola, in old town, which in 2019 also won the award of best Italian focaccia, as decreed by FICO Eatalyworld, the famous agri-food theme park based in Bologna.
The Barese focaccia has a simple preparation: just flour, ground semolina, yeast, lots of oil and half a boiled potato. This is the base dough, then many beautiful tomatoes, oregano and green olives Baresane, which give the right flavor together are added on the top. There are slight variations on the theme, such as “white” focaccia with potatoes and rosemary (or other ingredients), with whole flour, but the traditional one always remains the best.
To enjoy the focaccia in the best way you have to eat it hot, very hot, at risk of burning the palate with tomatoes. In fact, some prefer to remove them just because they are too hot or for other hygienic reasons not better specified; in many, however, will quarrel to have the piece with the olive, the most delicious. Accompanied by a good beer is the best; the most greedy also appreciate it with a slice of mortadella. But how to order focaccia in Bari? The journalist and gastronome Sandro Romano listed the units of measure of the focaccia according to Bari jargon. First of all, the whole focaccia is called a ''wheel'', because it has a circular shape. It goes therefore from the “muèzzeche" (the bite kindly offered by a friend), to the “stezzarìdde”, the piece that advances on the chopping board of the bakery. “Stezz” (a piece) is the actual portion. It can be ordered according to the price by weight (you will often hear “an euro of focaccia”), but it is always less than the quarter wheel. For the most hungries there is the “half-wheel” (half-focaccia), up to the whole wheel, usually bought to be eaten by more people.
Whether it’s a half wheel or just a little piece, never leave Bari without having tasted the focaccia, it’s like a love story without kisses.
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