Focaccia Venetian: the name is enough to begin to crave it. It is the cake of Venice, one of most beautiful city in the world, most dreamed, most loved and visited. A walk through its “calli” and “campi”, as its narrow streets and squares are called, is as unforgettable as the scent and taste of its focaccia. Soft, high, delicate and yellow!
Today you can eat it all year long but in the past it was served during the wedding parties and Easter period: in its simplicity the Venetian focaccia is a
cake of elegant appearance.
The Venetian focaccia is a simple preparation that has popular origins: the basic ingredients are common. Flour, eggs, butter, sugar and yeast. That's all! Over time the recipe has been enriched with fragrant spices arrived with merchant ships from the east: cloves and cinnamon were the first. Other variants include the addition of candied fruit.
The focaccia has gone from home-cake to a refined dessert for the tables of the great lords of the Serenissima. The common ended up eating it only at parties and in the Easter period.
“Xè Pasqua, è Pasqua che caro che gò, se magna ea fugassa, se beve i cocò.”
It's Easter, it's beautiful, I'm eating focaccia and drinking eggs: a Venetian proverb reads.
A testimony of the popular origin of the recipe is the fact that despite some basic lines there are several versions, more or less enriched with almonds, candied fruit, spices or perfumes. At the base, however, there is always a slow rising dough enriched by the typical crispy sugary surface.
First the “biga”, made with flour and yeast to let it rise slowly and before adding the rest of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. This is the time for adding candied orange or almonds.
The dough should be left to rise in a warm place and then collected in a high round pan. Before baking it can be decorated with almonds and granulated sugar.
It's a cake and should be consumed in moderation, but without sacrifice. The average portion of the weight of 50 g can be consumed during breakfast, or at the end of the meal: in this case better to avoid eating bread and breadsticks and prefer only half a portion of pasta or rice.
How to serve it
This traditional focaccia is excellent served with a glass of Prosecco Superiore DOCG or Recioto di Soave Docg, another wine of Veneto region.
Today it is increasingly common to serve this focaccia with custard or zabaglione especially in the fanciest restaurants.
Storia documentata di Venezia, Volume 9
Samuele Romanin Ed. Maratovich, 1861 - 548 pagine
Cucina Veneta Claudia Toso Ed. Demetra - 200 pagine
Sugars intake for adults and children. Guideline World Health Organization
LARN Livelli di Assunzione di Riferimento di Nutrienti ed energia per la popolazione italiana. SINU, Società Italiana di Nutrizione Umana.