“Focaccia bread from Bari is made by mixing soft wheat flour, salt, yeast and water. You’ll obtain a rather liquid dough, which must be poured into a round baking pan. Then you must add some extra virgin olive oil, fresh tomatoes, some olives and cook in a wood burning oven. Olives and tomatoes will sink in the liquid mixture, thus creating and filling some small and soft craters. These are the most delicious parts of focaccia bread.
You can have it warm but not hot, wrapped up in the bakery’s paper, going out of the school, by the sea, for dinner or for lunch (or even for breakfast, but this stuff is for real experts) quick, cheap and delightfully greasy.
Focaccia bread is one the best foods in the world. I keep from saying it is the best in order to maintain a minimal amount of perspective and to avoid parochial delusion. There are the thin and crunchy ones, those thick and soft, the ones with potatoes, with rosemary and many others. Even though the real one is that with tomatoes, olives and scorched edges. Match it with a cold beer. If you are a gourmet, the greatest pleasure is given by warm focaccia stuffed with very thin mortadella slivers. Thin cut mortadella, combined with warm and fragrant crumbs, give off a fragrance that will drive your salivary glands crazy.
Unlike many good things which are often insufficient and expensive, focaccia in Bari can be found in every bakery, which means it is very affordable and you can find it everywhere.
In Bari, focaccia is a metaphor of equality and one of the few emblems (among these, we must remind raw mussels) in which people from Bari recognize their own group identity. “
This excerpt is the beginning of the epilogue of Né qui né altrove – una notte a Bari by Gianrico Carofiglio (judge, writer and member of the senate). Editori Laterza