Round slices of durum wheat bread, friselle have the same shape as fritters without being fried and are served with a topping of tomatoes, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and salt. This is the seamen's bread which, with its traditional recipe, makes a welcome appearance on the tables of real connoisseurs of natural and authentic flavours.
The frisella resembles a crisp doughnut but it is actually made from durum wheat flour and its origins are extremely ancient. It would seem that friselle first appeared around the X century, when merchants were forced to undertake many months of sailing to reach the most flourishing markets. Of course, at that time, few foods lent themselves to storage and friselle, once dried, could be kept for lengthy periods. However, dried friselle were too hard to be eaten in the same way as bread so they had to be softened in sea water and dressed with extra virgin olive oil.
In the course of time, this simple, humble fare became a delicacy and a distinctive element of Southern Italy's culinary tradition. Today, friselle are still prepared in the same way, that is to say, they are sprinkled with water and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, salt and tomatoes, in the same way as their close cousin, the bruschetta.
Crisp slices of bread, dressed with extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and salt: here's the story behind friselle and their authentic, genuinely tasting recipe!
Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in 4, arranging them in a salad bowl. Dress the tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, salt and oregano, mixing them thoroughly to enable the flavours to blend perfectly.
Arrange the friselle on a serving dish and sprinkle them with cold water to soften. When they are soft on the surface but still crisp in the centre, dress them with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Arrange the seasoned tomatoes on top of the friselle and serve.
For a more gutsy flavour, in some coastal areas, marinated anchovies and grated lemon rind are added to the basic recipe.