Stroscia is an easy to prepare shortcrust cake, based on high-quality Ligurian olive oil. The recipe has a long tradition and a lovely story. I’m so proud I can share it with you.
My last post was about traditional food behind Ligurias west coast. Natalino, a local whose family is living in fifth generation in the hills and who knows the soul and culture of his home better than any other, allowed me profound insights.
He also handed me the Stroscia recipe – one of the rare sweet specialties in the region. And the history behind.
Stroscia: A love story
The Ligurian outback has only a few sweet traditions. Like in other parts of Italy there is crostata con marmellata. But unique is Stroscia, a specialty from Pietrabruna, a mountain village behind San Lorenzo al Mare. For at least one century this cake was only baked within this village, and the recipe was kept a secret like a pirates treasure.
The Stroscia history also involves pirates, the so called “corsarie al barbareschi” – warriors from North Africa who terrorized the local people.
One of these men fell in love with a girl from Pietrabruna and stayed. He brought the recipe and taught the women from Pietrabruna how to make this crumbly, sweet cake, which once took several days to be prepared. Of course, today you can make your Stroscia – originally a dessert – in no time.
The original recipe changed thanks to new baking methods and possibilities to store food. But always there only was one original recipe, handed over in Pietrabruna families from one generation to the next.
Until about 20 years ago it was only possible to buy Stroscia in the bakery of Pietrabruna. During the most important festivals of the region, St. Matthew und St. Gregory, all families this special cake. Until today this tradition did not change.
A cake for celebrations and your picnic basket
„Stroscia“ is Ligurian dialect and means “you don’t cut.” You break this cake into pieces, a very sociable gesture. This fact makes it the perfect cake for your picnic basket, too:-)
The Stroscia secret unveiled
About 20 years ago, two brothers started to market the cake – the people were embarrassed! Now you can buy Stroscia in and around Imperia, too.
There are different recipes on the internet. This one is the same one you would get on certain festivals in the region.
The big secret? High-quality olive oil! If possible of course you should try to get Ligurian olive oil, extra virgin and made from Taggiasca olives. They are particularly sweet and fragrant – “that’s exactly how your Stroscia should taste like,” says Natalino, who handed me the original recipe from his sister in law, Mariaangela to share it with you.
Because even though this inconspicuously looking cake could increase its popularity over the years, it deserves a lot more!
One original recipe
There are different recipes on the internet. Some use yeast but not this one. You only need flour, olive oil, brown sugar and Martini Bianco.
This recipe is pretty famous around Dolcedo, a community of several beautiful mountain villages behind Imperia. Every year Mariaangela is preparing this Stroscia for festivals in Bellisimi and learned how to make it from a cousin in Pietrabruna. This is a genuinely original recipe.
We love this cake – it’s like a giant cookie – for a quick breakfast, relaxed in the afternoon or for dessert. The taste always fits, and it’s nourishing as well.
Try it yourself and enjoy – with your family or dear friends because Stroscia is made to share, like this blog post:-)