French Pissaladiere: Recipe, History, Facts & Etymology


When Babeth pointed out that my brother’s creation ought to be called something else, I decided to investigate.
I must say that I gladly owe her an apology and will tell Francois to rename it something like “French-style healthy Pizza”!
Being aware of my younger brother’s character, I’m in for some flak from both sides of the World!

Now for Wikipedia’s definition:

[Pissaladiere or Pissaladina (pissaladiera in Provençal, “piscialandrea” in Ligurian) is a type of pizza made in southern France, around the Nice, Marseilles, Toulon and the Var District, and in the Italian region of Liguria, especially in the Imperia district. Believed to have been introduced to the area by Roman cooks during the time of the Avignon Papacy, it can be considered a type of white pizza, as no tomatoes are used. The dough is usually thicker than that of the classic Italian pizza, and the topping consist of: sauteed (almost pureed) onions and anchovies. No cheese is used, again unlike the Neapolitan pizza, however in the nearby Italian town of San Remo mozzarella is added. Now served as an appetizer, it was traditionally cooked and sold early each morning.

Another view held by food specialists is that pissaladiere is not a pizza, but a flat open-face tart garnished with onions, olives, anchovies and sometimes tomato. The etymology of the word seems to be from Old French pescion from the Latin piscis.]

I would tend to believe that Pissaladiere is more a local Provence gastronomic creation, although one must remember that Provence (the name itself could mean province/colony) changed hands many times including those of the Celts, Greeks, Romans and Italians.

Knowing the French propensity for arguments, some will soon (and rightly so) point out that after all, it is only another “poor people’s” food, like bouillabaisse, aligot or fondue (or pizza, or pasta!), which has turned into a fashionable gastronomy with the consequent “evolution”!

This “battle” is not confined to France or Europe but as far as the States as illustrated in the excellent posting by Daria in Paris. But it can also bring people together like Brunsli so funnily described!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


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