Pizza is undoubtedly one of the most popular dishes in the world. In Italy, where pizza originated, there are countless different types, they invented the folded pizza calzone, they have fried pizza Montanara, and in some places in southern Italy, you can also come across the “rustica” pizza.
The word “rustica” means “rural” in Italian, and this pizza definitely lives up to its name. It is a simple, yet very hearty pizza. It is baked in rectangular pans, with the dough covering not only the bottom but also the top. The filling is most often cheese and ham, and it is definitely not skimped on. The dough is also different from the classic pizza, often using puff pastry. The top part of the dough is densely pricked with a skewer before baking so that the steam has a way to escape during baking and the dough does not tear.
You will most often come across pizza rustica in southern Italy, for example, in the vicinity of the cities Bari or Matera. I have not seen it anywhere else in Italy, but maybe you will be lucky and find it elsewhere. Pizza rustica is sold by weight, and in most places, they will gladly heat it up for you before consumption. The piece captured in the photo cost about 3 EUR at the Petronella bakery in the town of Gravina in Puglia.
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