Italian snack food: Pizza di Pane

Pizza di Pane from Il Fornaio on Via San Lorenzo, in Viterbo

The bakeries in Viterbo bake a variety of breads, from ciabatta to pugliese grano duro, in a variety of sizes and shapes. One of my favorites (though not the healthiest choice) is pizza di pane: thin bread baked with lots of olive oil. It resembles the focaccia found in some parts of northern Italy, but is generally thinner and crisper. Each bakery makes a slightly different version. My current favorite is from Il Fornaio, on Via San Lorenzo, although Artigipan on Via Annio makes a good version too, that is a little thicker and less saltier.

While you rarely see Italians eat anything while walking or standing (except for gelato), the one thing I do occasionally see is someone munching a piece of pizza di pane. It’s a popular breakfast for children on the way to school or for shoppers and workers for a mid-morning snack. Many bakeries are only open in the morning and most have some version of this crispy treat. It’s best eaten right from the bakery although a few minutes in a toaster (or on a griddle pan – toasters are rare in Italy) will refresh a piece perfectly later in the day.

2 responses to “Italian snack food: Pizza di Pane

  1. The name “Pizza di Pane” is wrong. Nobody in Viterbo (or in Italy) calls this kind of pizza “Pizza di Pane”. The correct name is “Pizza Bianca” or “Pizza del Forno ” .

    • Here in Viterbo it is often described as pizza di pane, whether or not it is the correct name. Many people also just call it ‘pizza’ when purchasing it from a panetteria (bakers) as there it can’t be confused with the kind of pizza you find in a pizzeria.

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