Focaccia barese, authentic pugliese tradition, delicious street food
Focaccia barese is the quintessential snack of Bari, a port city in the south of Italy. It encapsulates the age-old traditions of a typical “pugliese” dish, and is excellent as a street food that is eaten as a meal by many Italian people, and in Puglia, it is a classic at school breaktime.
Focaccia barese, or in dialect “fcazz” pugliese, originates in Altamura, deriving from the renowned DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) bread. Alternatively called a “wheel” due to its round shape, the main ingredients are durum wheat flour, yeast, extra-virgin olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and potatoes. By definition it should be deep, with a crisp crust, and soft in the middle. This barese delicacy can also be served with a filling of mortadella.
Focaccia pugliese is among the most famous Italian street foods. Gianrico Carofiglio praised it in his book “Né qui né altrove”, describing it as “fast, cheap, deliciously greasy”. A recipe so deeply rooted in pugliese culture, that it is strong enough to withstand a global brand name like McDonald’s. As told in the docu-film “Focaccia Blues”, the public preferred the focaccia barese made by an Altamuran artisan (Luca Digesù) over the hamburger, forcing the fast-food giant to close one of its outlets in 2002.