Mangia! Mangia! – Florentine Sweet for September, Schiacciata con l’Uva

It seems that in Italy those born in the month of September do not dream of a double chocolate cake as a birthday cake. Instead they have a passion for Schiacciata con l’Uva, the traditional Tuscan sweet baked only as the grape harvest begins.

Schiacciata con l’Uva (or to Florentines Schiacciata Coll’Uva) is a lightly sweetened focaccia bread spiked with the early grapes, especially those known as uva fragola or uva fragolino (strawberry grapes), which is also known in Italy as Uva Americana because it is an New World varietal – vitis labrusca – the Eastern Concord grape. The dish, however, can be made with any red wine grape (frequently canaiolo is used).

Schiacciata con l’Uva in the oven (photo by Judy Witts Francini)

Historically, workers in the vineyards of Tuscany cooked up this “poor dish” made of simple ingredients: bread dough, olive oil, sugar, a sprig of rosemary and red grapes. Some say the recipe has Etruscan origins using grapes that grew wild.

Perfect combo of dough to grapes in Schiacciata con l’Uva (photo by Judy Witts Francini)

Schiacciata means squashed or flattened and in Tuscany it usually refers to a salty, oily focaccia bread, but during the harvest, sugar is added to the bread dough. There are usually two layers of dough, with plenty of red grapes in the middle and on top.

There are two camps of Schiacciata con l’Uva lovers: con semi and senza semi. That’s with or without grape seeds. Those who love the crunch and nuttiness of the seeds claim that it is the only proper and traditional way to eat the sweet. The Eutruscans probably didn’t remove the seeds. But the best fornos usually offer both varieties. Tuscan Traveler’s favorite vendor is Focacceria Pugi in Piazza San Marco (senza semi for TT).

Check out the post and recipe (using rosemary-infused olive oil) from Judy Witts Francini on DivinaCucina.com (above are her wonderful photos of a perfectly made Schiacciata con l’Uva).

Schiacciata with figs (photo by Judy Witts Francini)

Judy also took a photo of another version of this dessert – fig schiacciata – that also makes a seasonal appearance in September.

As Judy says, “At my Florence bakery near the market, Ivana Braschi makes a fresh fig schiacciata which is incredible.”

Judy includes the recipe in her cookbook: Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen, available on Amazon.com.

Other recipes and photos can be found From Emiko Davies and panevinoezucchero.it .

Lisa Brancatisano of ThisTuscanLife.com presents a video demonstrating how to make Schiacciata con l’Uva.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *