The many shapes of bread
Grains, bread, pasta, cakes and biscuits
the author's journeys
Italy is the European country in which bread production is still mainly in the hands of artisanal producers. Despite a decrease in consumption over the last 10 years, artisanal enterprises – approximately twelve thousand – cover about 80% of annual production of bread products, which is about 3 million tons a year. On top of this number, there are twenty-five thousand pizzerias (in Italy production is around 900 million a year) and about ten thousand split between piadina makers, focaccia makers and bread-based street food. This highly capillary distribution is a reflection of the fact that, in Italy, bread is closely linked to identity, to the agriculture of the territory, a sort of archetype of gastronomic tradition as well as the first and only irreplaceable type of street food. Bread is basically a leavened dialect that takes many forms. There are 250 types of bread in Italy (every province has its own type) that come in over a thousand variations to which we should add at least 150 types of focaccias, pizzas, pitas and calzones. Similarly to other food products, 3 macro geographic zones can be identified for Italian bread: the first is the Alps, characterized by bread made with a mix of wheat and rye flour and of other lesser known grains; the second is central Italy, characterized by bread made with soft wheat flour (even though along the Apennine mountain range we find a lot of mixed breads: made from flour and potatoes, from flour and chestnuts, from flour and sweet corn) and seasoned in different ways; finally, in southern Italy the most common breads are those made with durum wheat flour, due to the high concentration of durum wheat production. Seasonings also vary across the regions: in the North, we mainly find bread with butter, lard and milk; in the centre, the most widespread are breads with extra virgin olive oil with or without salt; in the South, the most common are with extra virgin olive oil and sometimes with lard. Italy boasts the highest number of bread products protected by a European community trademark. Altamura bread and the “Pagnotta di Dittanio” are DOPs (protected denomination of origin). Matera bread, “Coppia Ferrarese” and “Casereccio di Genzano” bread are IGPs (Protected Geographical Indication). Two brands of bread-like products are also protected by the IGP trademark, the Focaccia from Recco and the Piadina from Romagna. Traditional Tuscan bread is also looking to be awarded the DOP trademark.
I casi aziendali che hanno ispirato i viaggi d’autore
AGRIFORNO LA SPIGA DI PETROCCO EVASIO
ANTICO FORNO A LEGNA S.N.C. DI LUCIA PERRONE & C.
ANTICO FORNO CICERELLI DI MANNARINO ELEONORA
FORNO BONAZZI S.A.S. DI BETTINI SIAN E SERAFINO
IL FORNO DI LAPACCIANA GABRIELLA
PANIFICIO DI MASSA ALFONSO S.A.S.