Monday, 24 March 2014

FOCACCIA AL GENOVESE


When I moved to Italy from the the Caribbean, Genova (Genoa) was where I had lived for a decade before moving to Livorno (Tuscany), so naturally my first experience of authentic Italian cuisine was Genovese. Not only that, I have had loads of good memories of people, and places in the Italian riviera as well. I jokingly say I grew up in Genova and in so many ways, I indeed did.

Genova in so many ways is home to me. That was where the Italian government planted my ID when I was made a citizen, I was a 'Genovese' resident in Rapallo, so yes, feel free to call me a black Genovese. Genova is also the birthplace of my daughter whose biological father is Italian from Genova and because it has been the only home she has known for most of her life, she still thinks of Genova as 'home' and rightly so too.

It's been a year (a few days ago now) since we had relocated to the USA and although a year is time enough to settle in, I still feel like a visitor waiting for when I will return 'home'. I have spent a whole year trying to feel at home here but for one reason or another I am reminded that I am not.

When I was in Italy, I was itching to leave. The ties I had, that required my presence were broken and so I felt it was time to move on, plus the  occasional prejudiced I had faced made me certain I had no business remaining there.......but moving to the USA and living for only a year here, I have come to the realization that Italians/Italy wasn't as bad as I had thought, if anything, based on my brief experience here, Italy/Italians were (are) a lot more friendly and accepting of me (of foreign origin) than anything I have experienced here so far (long story for another day).

So in my quest to recreate the familiar, and recapture some of the memories of happier times, I did the first thing that came to mind - cook. I made the one thing we never went a day without while in Italy- Focaccia al Genovese. I even used an original Genovese recipe handed down through generations. Granted, this is my first time ever making it. We usually bought them freshly baked at the 'panificio' (bakery) and I was unsure it would come out right. As a matter of fact, the surest way to get me to screw up a meal is to have me use a recipe, so I was prepared for the worse.....well I made focaccia today and not only did it LOOK like the real thing, IT TASTED LIKE IT TOO!!!

I can't believe my good fortune!!


And another thing I am making, also using an old recipe is the Limoncello which requires a two months prep period before it is ready to drink. and mine will be ready in another 4 weeks, I will show you when it is. For now, have a pleasant view of my focaccia while the family and I feast on em :-)