The crescenta of Lizzo

Edited by Franco Santoli

Surrounded by the Apennine, Lizzo lies in the sight of Corno alle Scale and Cimone mountain tops, cradled by the mild microclimate fostered by the Suviana artificial lake. In Lizzo, the air, water and weather have formed a peculiar porous and slightly shaded soil, perfect for the production of “testi”- called tigelle or teglie somewhere else.

The “testi” are the molds in which the “crescenta” flat bread – strictly yeast-free – is baked. Once upon a time, families and friends gathered in front of the fireplace, where the “testi” molds were heating to the right temperature. In the meanwhile, the dough was kneaded, exclusively with flour, water and a pinch of salt: even in hard times, very little was needed to have every day freshly baked bread.

In Lizzo, you need the right spot to source and dig the proper clay. Then the clay is crushed to dust and knead with enough water. The mixture is then shaped in round balls and put into circular molds and spanked with a “piciota” (a flat tool) and left to dry for 10 days. The preparation shown in the footage is the root of our territory, its history, its traditions.

© photo Franco Santoli

While the fire burns swiftly in the oven and the “testi” heat till the right temperature, the commensals chat; maybe they assist the preparation of the “crescenta”. While the hot “testi” seal the dough disks, the baking is finished in the oven. Made exclusively of flour and water, the “crescenta” rises with no need of yeast.

Puffy, crunchy and pleasantly “fire-scented”, it is ready to serve. Such dinner represents a friendly and traditional way to taste a typical Apennine product. A longer time is needed than what we’re too often used to. The Apennines needs to preserve its history, its tales, its own timing. North to south, the precious Apennines mountain chain has been too often outdone by the majestic Alps.

Nonetheless, they have just as many emotions to give. Their green valleys are milder than the rocky Alps, their old villages seem to have resisted the flowing of time, the perfect integration between man and Nature is balanced in a role game that has lasted for centuries.

While the Alps scream out loud, the Apennines whisper about ancient times, about legends and traditions. Silence is necessary to hear their voice: you need to stop and listen carefully. From the love between two “testi” the “crescenta” is born, without yeast and baked by the wood fire. Tradition and history of the Apennines… Maybe these are the right keys to listen to their voice.