Scèblasti from Zollino

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Scèblasti is produced in Zollino, a small town in the province of Lecce and part of the Union of Communes of Grecia Salentina.It is a leavened bread topped with vegetables. The ingredients are durum wheat semolina of the Capinera and/or Senatore Cappelli variety, Celina di Nardò and Ogliarola Leccese olives, and extra virgin olive oil made from the same varieties, and vegetables grown in the Zollino area (including zucchini, onions, squashes, peppers and capers). This land, characterized by a very fertile surface layer (70 – 150 cm deep), has a deeper layer of clay and calcium carbonate, called by the Greek term ‘piromakho’ (‘who fights with fire’), also used to build stone ovens. The leavening used is natural, from a starter dough, and the bread is worked artisanally, by hand and without machinery. The rather wet dough is placed onto trays or placed directly on the stone of the stone that is fired with olive wood.It is a bread whose remote origins date back to ancient Greece. The etymology of the word could be traced to get Greek verb ‘schizo’ (to divide or cut) and ‘blastesis’ (growth or leavened dough). According to others, it comes from the local Greek dialect meaning ‘without shape.’ The origins are remote, as evidenced by tomb discoveries from the age of ancient Greece and certainly has origins as a Pagan offering. It is similar to the breads used by the cult of Demeter and also consumed as an offering on November 1 (All Saints’ Day), during the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and during the Feast of St. John on June 24. It was the first bread to be baked at dawn and was a typical breakfast for farmers. Currently, restaurants in the area called Grecia Salentina (the Greek speaking area at the center of the province of Lecce) serve the product as an appetizer or an accompaniment with drinks before dinner.There are two bakeries that make scèblasti in the historical production area. The majority of production is made domestically, in private ovens and homes. The production is mainly for home consumption.

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Bread and baked goods