Whether it is breakfast time, afternoon, aperitif time, or dinner, focaccia is one of the typical street food that Genoese people cannot do without.
They buy it at the “panificio” (bakeries which bake focaccia from the early morning till afternoon).
They love to soak it in the cappuccino already at breakfast, but also at lunch they eat it while walking or during aperitif time paired with a glass of white wine.
To be perfect, the traditional Genoese focaccia must have precise characteristics: here they are!
Genoese focaccia must be fragrant and crunchy on the outside with a hazelnut-colored crust and ivory-white holes. While on the inside it must be soft.
In the lower part, it must be rightly greasy, white, and golden. It must be about 2 centimeters high and it must have irregular and deep holes with traces of oil. In the upper part, there may be some glitter of salt.
On the palate, it must be soft, never chewy, but crunchy on the surface.
Genoese bakers take it seriously when it comes to protecting the focaccia recipe traditions!
Today the Ligurian focaccia recipe has obtained the recognition of Traditional Italian Agri-Food Product and the Collective “Focaccia Genovese” brand.
This helps to enhance the Ligurian Focaccia recipe and defend the best focaccia recipe from counterfeiting.
The brand brings together many local bakers. They make focaccia dough with flour, extra virgin olive oil, yeast, sea salt, water, malt extract, and nothing else.
The brand can only be used by the bakers who sign the production disciplinary of the original Ligurian focaccia recipe. An action that is useful to protect the Ligurian focaccia recipe in its traditional version.
Many variations of focaccia can be tasted all along the Liguria region: let’s discover them
In the bakeries focaccia can be also found topped with onions, olives, rosemary, cherry tomatoes, and more: they are all great as well!
In the west part of Liguria, you can find the sardenaira: typical focaccia traditionally flavored with sardines and anchovies.
In Recco, which is a village close to Genoa, you can find the “focaccia al formaggio”: typical focaccia made of two very thin layers of unleavened dough containing a local fresh cheese melted: the stracchino.
The focaccia was already eaten a long time ago: this is its history
The Latin root of the word focaccia is ‘focus’ and refers to cooking by a fireplace. Literally a focal point for the family, a place where the dough was baked over hot stones, fire, and ashes.
In the sixteenth century focaccia used to be partaken of even during weddings, in the church, at the moment of the nuptial blessing.
The recipe for Genoese focaccia has evolved over the centuries. First and foremost, animal fat has been replaced by olive oil.
Best places to eat focaccia in Genoa…in our opinion!
Genoa has many bakeries where you can eat a good piece of focaccia. Wondering which ones are they?
Some of them can be found in the historical town of Genoa, in the narrow alleys of this beautiful city. Most of them are family-owned and bakers know very well how to make a great focaccia.
You can discover more on our blog post “5 best places where to eat focaccia in Genoa!”.
But, if you are a foodie traveler and love to discover a town through its flavors, then you can’t miss our “focaccia tour in Genoa” with our local insider.
It is a friendly walk through the medieval alleys of Genoa learning more about this traditional street food!
Last but not least important thing! Follow our advice, you’ll not regret it!
The Genoese focaccia must be eaten as soon as it comes out of the oven: it has got all its healthy and hot olive oil, and it must be eaten walking slowly… thinking about anything, just the focaccia you are eating!
More Tips and ideas?