Follow by Email

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Two Desserts in Sweet Tension

The day before yesterday, Jo and I discovered a new dessert.  It is basically grape focaccia, but in Florence where we are staying, it is called Schiacciata Al'uva or grape schiacciata, schiacciata being the Florentine word for focaccia.  The origin story has to do with leftover bread dough and leftover freshly harvested grapes being brought together with a bit of anise and sugar.  The schiacciata (worth plugging into Google Translate to hear the pronunciation) is wet, sticky and impossible to eat without a fork, though we managed to consume one with our fingers without clothing ruination.  (The one pictured, our second from another shop, we ate at home with forks.)  It is a sweet mess of thin bread, much thinner than focaccia, and small sweet, fresh grapes of the season.

And then we began seeing it everywhere we looked.  So we looked it up and discovered this Fall only treat: a sign of the harvest.

Then, last night we were invited out for a shabbat meal by a member of the Florence Reform congregation, Shir Hadash, where I will be assisting in High Holy Day services and staying on till mid-November.  We enjoyed a typical Italian meal, based around pasta, wine and salad.  For dessert we were served Apple Crisp, the American Fall sweet treat!  Our host grew up in the states and though she has lived in Florence many years, and raised a family here, she had gone apple picking, I assume with her family, and created this most American creation.  Besides being delicious in its own right, it gave us a moment of home.

This a posting of "the more things change, the more they stay the same."  Harvest requires acknowledgement.  People require treats.  Let the baking continue.


  1. Thanks for sharing; I appreciate the story- evocative of fall for me. Enjoy your new adventure.

  2. Looks scrumptious. I will need to find the perfect recipe and make it for a harvest meal. Enjoy your Florence adventure. You are missed. L’Shana Tova.

    1. Small sweet grapes, pits optional seems the pattern between variations. And a sweet new year to you.

  3. So enjoyed reading your Blog and knowing the two of you are keeping up your fine tradition of discovering great pastries wherever you travel! Savor every mouthful of your adventure!