chichiripieno is a kind of country flat bread of Offida. It is a
typical product of this village which organises every year a chichiripieno
feast held to honour this delicious food, and every time, this event
gathers thousands of people.
The chichiripieno was born at home according to the custom of many
women of Offida who used to give to their children a piece of bread dough
during the home bread making. Children enjoyed to handle the dough and
then baked it on the oven opening.
This custom, which conveys the homelike atmosphere and the pleasure of the
good table, has been exploited by the bakers of Offida who created, many
years ago, a kind of flat bread called focaccia which is one of the
most typical and savoury food of this region.
“Chichi” is a dialectal word of Offida to say “focaccia”
or “schiacciata” which is a kind of flat bread. It consists of
a piece of bread dough rolled out to obtain a flat and thin sheet of dough
with a rounded shape. Once the dough has been modelled, it is stuffed with
tuna, anchovies, capers and minced peppers or ham, mushrooms and
mozzarella. At this point it is ready to be baked in the oven.
The high temperature operates on the surface, transforming a part of the
starch in starch gum, which becomes brown while the remaining part of the
starch roasts giving to the dough an hard consistency. So this product is
fragrant and crunchy at the same time thanks to the poor quantity of crumb
and a complete lack of rising.
In the windows of bakeries or gastronomy shops of Offida the chichiripieno
is daily produced and sold with an attractive packaging which permits to
taste the delicious focaccia hot and fragrant. But the best
opportunity to taste the chichiripieno for the first time is surely the
feast organized every year by the Pro Loco in which the product is
presented in many versions.
event is also the occasion to learn the history of this typical food. An
ancient rumour puts its origin down to Ottomans because chichiripieno
looks like a kind of pizza with a very thin crust known by the Americans
as “Lahmagiun” which could be the most ancient pizza.
some suggestions to learn how to cook chichiripieno.
dough is prepared as the bread dough, but a bit of pork lard is added to
make it more elastic.
the dough is ready, start the stuffing preparation. The most famous
stuffing is composed of minced yellow and red peppers, artichokes in oil,
green olives, tuna, anchovies in oil, parsley, some capers and pepper.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin making two thin rounded sheets. Pour
out the stuffing on one of the sheet, in homogeneous way, then cover with
the remaining sheet of dough.
the end, close carefully the borders and bake the focaccia in the
oven (high temperature).
the easiest way to have this delicious product is going to Offida and buy
it in many artisan shops. Offida is a beautiful medieval village which
offers to visitors, beyond its gastronomic specialities, culture, history
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