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FOCACCIA UMBRA

The star of Umbrian cooking!

The Focaccia Umbra has a long story that matches old tradition and recipes of ancient Umbria cooking.After centuries of evolution from the beginning “torta al testo”, Focaccia Umbra has become the most important dish in Umbria cooking. This is a very versatile food, ready to use for every recipe, easy to digest, cookable on the fireplace, as suggested by the tradition, or in a frying pan. It is perfect also as part of a vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as for low-fat diet, as both the main course and just as starter.

Flour, water, natural yeast, olive oil and salt: only the best ingredients of our land for the unique Focaccia Umbria. 

Origins

Focaccia Umbra, also known as “torta al testo”, is an Umbrian typical product invented by ancient Umbrian civilization, when it was used as a replacement for bread.
The first kind of focaccia, which preceded Focaccia Umbra, was called “mefa”, a round-shape mix of flour, water and salt, cooked on a pre-heated round-shaped stone called “panaro”.
When the Umbrian civilization met the Roman one, there was a union into a unique civilization and a new cooking system was invented and called “testo”, as it was a 3 cm thick round shape stone, very similar to a roof tile, which was called “testum” in Latin.

“The symbol of Umbrian gastronomy made with passion and natural ingredients for centuries”.

The testo

The “testo” is fundamental for the correct realization of Torta al Testo, to the point that even the dish was named after it.
At the beginning “testo” was a mix of clay and gravel, modeled in a round shape and cooked in a furnace. During the last century, the metal “testo” has started replacing the original one, as it was very easy to use, and successively the cast iron “testo” was introduced. This later version is the more common nowadays for domestic “torta al testo” cooking.

“A mix of little rocks from ditches and rivers”

The yeast

Water, flour, salt and baking soda were the only ingredients used during the whole period of rural civilization.
Baking soda was the only yeast known by women at that time, and it had to be accurately dosed in the right ratio with salt and water. If there was too much baking soda, the final “torta al testo” came out yellow. Otherwise, if there was too little yeast, the whole dough did not rise and stayed hard.

“Torta al testo, greens and good manners, the life of a real gentleman.”

The fireplace

The fireplace was the favorite place to cook the “torta al testo”, as well as a meeting point for all the family.
Hot ashes and fire made the “torta al testo” very soft inside and crisp outside, leaving the typically burned signs on the “torta”.

The hot ashes helped cooking the “torta al testo” in only 15 minutes”

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