What is and where to find the "scaccia ragusana," the rolled focaccia contested between Ragusa and Modica

May 12 2024, 13:12
It's impossible to resist these layers of fragrant dough enclosing a filling of tomato and caciocavallo cheese: if you've never tried it, it's time to catch up

There is no bakery in the province of Ragusa that does not prominently display the legendary "scaccia," a local gastronomic heritage capable of winning you over with the first bite. A focaccia with a thin crust, rolled up on itself and closed at the ends, filled with tomato sauce and caciocavallo cheese, perfect to enjoy cold.

"Scaccia ragusana", the rustic from Ibla

A treasure of the local white art, the scaccia ragusana is widespread throughout the province, and its paternity is still disputed with the nearby Modica. Its origins date back to the seventeenth century, when it was mainly prepared with seasonal vegetables and was particularly associated with Christmas: today it is made all year round and is filled differently depending on the area and the preferences of the bakers. The dough is made from flour, yeast, salt, and extra virgin olive oil, and the traditional sauce and cheese filling is often replaced by sautéed onions or fried eggplant, which with tomato and basil represent the typical filling for the summer months.

Ricotta and sausage in winter, hard-boiled egg, black pepper, and tuma cheese, but also anchovies or sardines: however you make it, scaccia will be a tasty snack suitable for any time of day. A fundamental characteristic lies in the closure: the dough must be rolled well so that with each bite you can perceive filling and dough in equal measure. Many bakers like to embellish their scaccia with decorations and designs, and brush it with beaten egg before baking to make it shiny and bright.

Variants of 'scaccia'

Another equally delicious variant of scaccia is the "pastizzu" from Modica, similar dough closed in the same way but with a longer leavening and a filling based on boiled cauliflower, garlic, salt, sun-dried tomatoes, pepper, and oil. Then there's the "impanata," a specialty linked to the Easter period, made with a filling based on lamb or kid meat cooked directly inside the dough. The dough is left a little thick to contain the meat liquids well, and the cooking time is quite long, which is why it is often prepared a day in advance.

Where to find the best scaccia ragusana

Here are the best bakeries in Ragusa to taste the typical scaccia.

I Banchi

Ciccio Sultano has chosen Renato Flaborea, a fourth-generation baker and baking teacher, as a consultant for the flours, while the very young Francesco Intorrella is the one who gets his hands on the dough. Loaves and loaves weighing half a kilo are always available, along with the famous scaccia.

I Banchi - Ragusa - via Orfanotrofio, 39 – 0932 655000 - ibanchiragusa.it


A family of bakers for over sixty years and a point of reference for the Iblean community, the Distefano family has always managed to maintain a high standard of baked goods, as evidenced by the large number of customers who flock to the bakery from the early hours of the morning. Without a doubt, the "home bread" is the king of the counter, but a taste of the scaccia here is a must.

Distefano - Ragusa - via Paestum, 20 – 0932 622384 - www.panificiodistefano.it

FOZ - Fermento Officina Zero

It is a true laboratory of good food, a 360-degree bakery but also a modern and spacious multifunctional space where you can have lunch with vegetarian dishes and which offers a corner dedicated to the workshop activity, including a good selection of natural wines and local craft beers. Here too, in addition to bread, you can find pizzas, focaccias, and the inevitable scaccia.

FOZ - Fermento Officina Zero - Ragusa - via Paestum, 95 – 329 8835846 - fermentofficinazero.com/

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