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Schiacciata and focaccia do not only sound similar but taste similar as well. But still, they are different. So basically what is the difference between schiacciata and focaccia? Let’s try to understand everything about them.
What Are The Differences Between Schiacciata vs Focaccia?
Schiacciata and Focaccia are extremely similar as both are Italian flatbread that tastes insanely similar and people often miss out on the differences between them. But one would wonder what are the differences and what makes them different.
The major difference lies in their origin, the method of preparation, and their texture. The major reason for their difference boils down to the water content and the rising technique.
We will cover each of these, Let’s dive into each of these and more.
Differences of Origin
Focaccia and Schiacciata are flatbreads from Italy. However, they are drawn from different regions. Just to remind you that Italian food can differ hugely across regions.
Schiacciata is a sort of bread culturally made in the regions of Tuscany and Umbria, which are in central Italy. While focaccia is a staple of the Genoa region. Schiacciata is easy to prepare at home with basic techniques while focaccia has a lengthy process to follow.
Historians believe that focaccia has its origin in the Ancient Greeks or with Etruscans who were living around modern Tuscany, a part of Umbria and Lazio.
Differences in Texture
The differences in the method of preparation bring out contrasting textures. As focaccia dough takes longer to rise and there is more water in the dough, the texture appears spongy. The focaccia bread comes out taller. Schiacciata on the other hand, with its shorter rise time and less water, looks more flat, thin, and chewy.
In a nutshell, one can picture it like this: Schiacciata is a Tuscan version of focaccia, but a little thinner and chewier. Close to a pizza crust.
Differences in Taste
Normally, Schiacciata is thin and chewy and Focaccia is spongy and tall. Taste-wise, focaccia is a springy olive-rich Italian bread, which is crispy and golden on the top and bottom while it is airy and soft inside.
Schiacciata is sturdier and crunchier than Focaccia as the Schiacciata dough has lower hydration than Focaccia, which makes it crunchier.
When it comes to taste, much depends on the thickness, texture, and toppings. Throughout Italy, you will be amazed to find out the great variety of bread with amazing toppings.
For example, in Liguria, you may find some of the simplest yet classic Focaccia bread of about 1 inch thick, sprinkled with salt and brushed with olive oil.
Some of the focaccia bread tastes divine when a handful of cheese is placed between these thin layers. Around the town of Sanremo near the French border, toppings are mainly of anchovies or sardines.
Moreover, Venetians make it a sweet treat when they top it with sugar and butter instead of salt and olive oil. Amazingly enough, people in southern Italy make it with durum wheat and get it tasted of rosemary, and tomatoes by sprinkling some of them over it.
In the Tuscany region, schiacciata is fully covered with olive only and eaten like this only. But the same schiacciata bread during the harvest season is often sweetened by stuffing it with wine grapes.
Not only the toppings but the method of preparation can add to differences in tastes. Like when you toss a dough into the refrigerator, we are slowing down the process of fermentation. This brings a nutty and chewy flavor to the bread. If you skip this step, you will have flavorless bread.
Differences in Nutrition
Traditionally, Schiacciata is more humbly topped than Focaccia and is more suitable as a supporting meal than being itself as a complete meal. Focaccia might be a complete meal with its myriad toppings.
Focaccia is often made more nutritious and filling with toppings like tomatoes, potatoes, cheese, and veggies. And you may wonder if you are having a primitive pizza.
Both the bread type has almost the same nutrition level when they are not topped and seasoned. The differences in nutrition rather depend more on its toppings. With a variety of toppings, you can make it more proteinaceous like Rosemary Protein Focaccia bread.
Apart from this, both pieces of bread are an excellent source of Carbs and give instant energy. As they are made of refined carbs, they are low on fiber and thus have a high glycemic index.
They have good dietary fat, that is monounsaturated fats. Also, contain plant-based protein, but all the nine essential amino acids may not be present. Both are good sources of vitamins and minerals like selenium, folate, niacin, thiamin, and phosphorus.
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What Are the Uses? (Schiacciata vs Focaccia)
Focaccia is an Italian street food used to make sandwiches and people enjoy eating it all the time.
Schiacciata like focaccia is also a popular choice for sandwiches with some variations in the toppings.
As Schiacciata is thinner and flatter than Focaccia, it can be used as a pizza crust as well.
Both can be savored plain as well with a cappuccino as people do in Genoa. Many times this bread is relished as an afternoon snack on the beaches.
Having them with a well-seasoned salad is also a choice much in demand.
Apart from this, they have some health benefits like satiating your hunger pangs, strengthening the immune system, and may support heart health.
To know more about health benefits in detail, you may visit here: verywellfit.com
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Schiacciata vs Focaccia: Which One Tastes Best?
Focaccia bread is one of the Italian bread readily available to Italian restaurants in varieties of ways. It tastes divine when shredded with parmesan cheese and olive oil. Additionally, some pieces of bacon can also be added with caramelized onion.
On the other hand, schiacciata bread is mostly eaten as a side dish or a supplementary dish and it is less focused as the main meal. Hence one may run into a lot of varieties of tastes when dealing with focaccia bread.
But it would not be just to say that Schiacciata bread cannot be made tasty by loading it with many other kinds of stuff, which may turn them into a drool-worthy experience. In short, both can taste better depending on the individual taste and preferences. But most often more appetizing varieties are commonly available for Focaccia bread vis a vis Schiacciata bread.
When you are traveling to Italy, it’s next to impossible to avoid its bread varieties. But with so many regional flavors, how to choose the best variety that relaxes your hunger?
The most popular are Schiacciata and focaccia, both are quite alike but are different too. Schiacciata vs focaccia debate, in a nutshell, is only the difference in rising time and the quantity of water used while preparing them.
The extra rise time of focaccia and extra water in it makes it fluffier than the thin, crunchy schiacciata. For a fluffy experience choose focaccia, for a crunchy adventure, pick up schiacciata.