Bread in Italy
From Ciabatta to Focaccia to the grispy grissini in the little packages set on your table bread will always be there when you sit down at a meal anywhere in Italy.
There are more types of bread in Italy than there are regions and almost as many ways to eat it. There is rarely a meal served in Italy where bread does not make an appearance. In some regions bread is served with butter, other areas would not consider putting anything on their bread and in yet other places bread is dipped in olive oil.
No matter how the bread is served and whether it is crispy or doughy the bread is always fresh. The bread does not always contain as much salt as Americans find in their bread so the taste will be different. It is made as an accompaniment to the meal and should not overpower the main course. It is often dipped in soups and sauces so don’t hesitate to break off a piece and dunk.
My tip? Eat like a local and enjoy the bread as it is served.
For those who love to bake, Artisan Bread School (ABS) combines a rustic spring vacation in Tuscany with hands-on courses in artisan bread-making. Set on the La Macchia Estate in the Val de Pierle, bread lovers can take advantage of two-, three- and five-day courses taught by ABS founder Carl Shavitz and learn how to make mouthwatering Italian, European and English breads.
About the Artisan Bread School
Set in the rural Tuscan village of Mercatale di Cortona, students live in surroundings that take them back to another time and place. The La Macchia Estate lies on the edge of Mercatale de Cortona. The family has farmed the land for hundreds of years and still does today. The Estate sits on a hill surrounded by trees, overlooking the valley. Its ancient and simply-restored buildings incorporate Etruscan and later rural architecture, providing agriturismo-style accommodations.
Olive oil used at the classes come for the estate’s 3,000 olive trees. An olive oil tasting is included in the course. Ingredients include Shipton Mill flour and items from local markets, in season.
Article Contributed by Shavitz
Shavitz, born in New York City, moved to England as a Fulbright Scholar to pursue a career as a lutanist and never left. After 20 years performing and traveling around the world, he moved to the other side of the microphone.
Then, he decided to become a chef. He trained at The Village Bakery in Melmerby Cumbia and Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. Once he started bread-making, he was hooked. He is an independent artisan baker, making bread for restaurants and specialty stores in the Cambridge, UK area. His passion for full-flavored, crusty and chewy breads led him to create Artisan Bread School to share the art.
Article by: Artisan Bread School