Schiacciapizza: the inside story

Schiacciapizza – what on earth is that? That was the very response – albeit expressed in slightly fruitier language – from the chefs at Locanda Le Tre Rane, the first time they heard the word. "Schiacciapizza? eicchellè?"

 

For we had the idea of mixing two icons of our cuisine. One is schiacciata, Tuscan to the core, lathered with oil. Its smell is unmistakable, irresistible; it is fantastic by itself, but even better when partnered with any type of cold meat. The other is pizza, the food that, along with pasta, has conquered the world on Italy’s behalf. It is a “human birthright”, something that can be found in every corner of the globe, though few specimens made outside of Italy’s borders can compete with those made within them.

 

But in the kitchens of our Locanda, we have had the audacity not only to yoke together the two names, but also to mix the flavors, textures and appearances of the two foods. Thus, we have created a new gastronomic entity: Schiacciapizza.

 

We’ll go through it step by step. Schiacciapizza does undoubtedly share a shape with pizza: that is to say, it’s round. Schiacciata, meanwhile, is either rectangular or oval; rarely circular. The dough, however, is pure schiacciata, the culinary altarpiece of the two longtime chefs at Poggio Casciano, Alba and Gianna. The toppings are also strictly Tuscan, based solely on ingredients from the surrounding land, while the presentation is left up to one of the more unashamed members of the kitchen, who gives it a different twist for every occasion.

 

Its story is still young, naturally, but certain schiacciapizzas have already found a place in our hearts. The one with cream of pumpkin soup and guttus, an extraordinary sheep’s blue cheese from the Maremma, is already a firm favorite, as is the exotic San Polo schiacciapizza, which uses a dough flavored with saffron and stuffed with seasonal vegetables and baked ricotta. That’s not to mention our creation with Lischeto pecorino and green bean pesto. In the words of the great maestro Beppe d’Andrea, today’s invention is tomorrow’s tradition.

 

Well, we’ve set the ball rolling. Our Bottega del Vino will be serving many a schiacciapizza outside in the hot summer months and in the warm indoors for winter. So, avanti!