The cheese focaccia is a real Italian street food institution, also known as Focaccia di Recco, after its birth village in Liguria, perfect for a delicate snack but also to accompany lunches and dinners.
In 2014, the Focaccia di Recco became a product of protected geographical identification, but how exactly was this dish born?
Apparently, when the Saracens attacked Liguria between 1500 and 1600, the people were forced to seek shelter in mountainous regions, taking only a small amount belongings with them.
Flour, salt and cheese were the ingredients that turned the poor man’s Focaccia into a popular street food that continues to attract food lovers worldwide.
The focaccia di Recco recipe is based on simple ingredients that come together to create an irresistible tender and tasty harmony. Here’s how the traditional Liguria Focaccia is made.
Mix the water, oil, and salt and transfer the mixture in a kneader, adding a tablespoon of flour once at a time. Knead for at least 15 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth, consistent and elastic. Divide the dough into 2 equal blocks, cover it with contact paper and let it sit for two hours.
Make two thin crusts out of the two blocks of dough. Grease a rectangular baking tray with extra virgin olive oil and place one of the two crusts inside. Spread pieces of cheese on top, and cover with the other crust. Season the surface of the cheese focaccia with large amounts of olive oil and salt. Bake at 250°C for roughly 15 minutes.
In traditional Italian cuisine, the cheese focaccia does not exist in different versions, and the whole Liguria region follows the same exact recipe down to the smallest details. You may serve it as a single dish or as a side dish for meat and fish recipes.