Fresh pastries and bakery, biscuit, confectionary and pastry products;
1. Product name:
Schiaccia briaca dell`Elba
2. Other names:
3. Short product description:
Schiaccia briaca is a traditional Elba pastry. It’s soft and round shaped. Its surface is white with patches of red from the alchermes sprinkled on top of the sugar. It has an intense aroma and flavour of nutmeg and dried fruit.
4. Production area:
It’s made on Elba Island, province of Livorno.
5. Production status:
r disappeared r at risk r active
6. Production process:
The flour is mixed with extra virgin olive oil, sugar and dried fruits (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds and raisins), Aleatico wine and alchermes to give it its characteristic colour and aroma. It’s served with Aleatico di Portoferraio wine.
7. Materials, equipment and premises used for production:
– Kitchen utensils
8. Notes on traditionalism, homogeneity of spread and persistence of production rules over time:
From the thirteenth to the sixteenth century and until the construction of Portoferraio, Saracens frequently invaded Elba Island. The barbaric pirates left behind bitter memories, along with something a little sweeter. The schiaccia briaca uses ingredients from Middle Eastern cooking like raisins and pine nuts.
Aleatico wine, an ingredient the modern version cannot do without, was added into the 18th century, along with the walnuts, which weren’t produced on the island and were therefore costly. The 18th century version used island honey in the place of the rare and expensive sugar. The resulting focaccia, free from egg or yeast, had a very long shelf life and was perfect as a provision for nomads and sailors.
Some bakeries and pastry shops on Elba Island have rediscovered this ancient recipe, and today, the schiaccia is made primarily during the Christmas period. There are 9 schiaccia producers on Elba in the municipalities of Porto¬ferraio, Porto Azzurro, Capoliveri, Marina di Campo and Rio Marina. The annual quantity produced is around 135-136 tonnes. In the last 3 years, production has increased by 10%. Sales are made in the area, to individuals or local stores, and in the rest of Tuscany through wholesalers and non-local distributors. A small percentage is destined for online sales. The schiaccia briaca is always at the centre of seasonal festivals on Elba Island, when it is celebrated along with other local products.