What is pane cunzato? It is a Sicilian delicious sandwich that was born in the Trapani area and then spread throughout Sicily.
The key ingredient is the extra-virgin olive oil, the good one with a intense color and a powerful scent. It gives the bread flavor, softness and taste.
Traditionally, "pane cunzato" was among the main meals of peasant families who could not afford more expensive foods (pasta, meat or fish). They accompanied it to simple dishes based on vegetables or legumes or alternatively they stuffed it with oil, cheese, tomato, sardines, oregano, a pinch of salt, all easily available ingredients.
The bread itself was not bought but was home-made two / three times a week. It was common to wake up in the middle of the night to prepare the dough and, after leavening, proceed to cook it in stone ovens, which are still present in old houses.
Even though the original recipe has changed over time, it is now one of the most iconic representatives of the street food. Everyone seasoned it in a customary way using different ingredients, as long as they are rustic and traditional (such as dried tomatoes, pickled peppers, onion).
In our area it is prepared using pane nero di Castelvetrano, a type of bread made by mixing a Sicilian blond wheat and a rare local durum wheat, called tumminìa, both wholemeal.
There is only one rule: cut the freshly-baked bread horizontally while it is still steamingand soak it generously da entrambi i lati nell’olio extra vergine d’oliva… rigorosamente “"Tunnaliva".
What are you waiting for ?! You too try to prepare it in three simple steps: bake, add the oil and other seasonings and finally taste the "pane cunzato". You will smell the scent of Sicily... the real Sicily!