by Giuliana cantini
A unique and ancient tradition.
A truly beautiful place where the hills of the Valdisieve join the Casentino. We are in Pomino, a small town in the Municipality of Rufina, especially known for its wine. But it’s not about this product, known the world over, that we want to talk about. There is another tradition, strictly from the farming world with unknown origins: it’s the “Schiacciata di Pasqua di Pomino” (Pomino’s Easter “Schiacciata”). The name suggests a savoury product: instead it is a cake which is made in all households the day before Easter and which recipe has no equal.
A cake to be savoured freshly baked but also later, cut up and kept in the “madie” (sideboards) which still exist in the many country houses that dot the landscape, and eaten dipped in milk or vin santo. The recipe of the Schiacciata, jealously held in every household in Pomino, requires a lengthy preparation and a complex leavening for a unique taste. You need eggs, sugar, zibibbo, yeast, oranges, aniseed, rosemary, flour but most of all, oil and vin santo of the highest quality, strictly produced in this area. It is not easy to knead everything but what takes even longer is the rising: everything is then put in wide and high-sided pans and must be baked the moment it has doubled in size. Today’s modern utensils have made the lives of the cooks from Pomino much easier: in the past it was almost necessary to stay up and watch upon the many pans ready to be baked at the right moment of rising. Those who could not prepare it at home were able to use the many communal bakeries spread around Pomino and the nearby Pinzano.
Once out of the oven, a light brushing of egg yolk and a sprinkling of sugar make this product even tastier. On Easter day, the schiacciata is eaten warm as dessert as the end of the lunch. A unique cake, with many secrets that the cooks of Pomino keep and safeguard.