Apulian Frise: history and recipe of the “fishermen food”

Written by EFW Staff

What are Apulian frise

Simple plate donuts of dry and dehydrated bread, Apulian frise are a kind of dry bread. You will be surprised tasting them, after having softened them with water and seasoned with the simplest Mediterranean ingredients: extra virgin oil, tomatoes and salt.

The origin of the Apulian frise

Frisa is one of the Apulian standard bearer and its origin seems to date back to the X century, when the merchants and the sailors ate this dark and dry donuts during their sea journeys; they had to soften them with sea water and season with oil and salt. You can find frise, typically made with durum wheat flour, also with many other flours such as the whole-wheat flour, the spelt or five cereal ones, but the cooking method hasn’t change: frise are subjected to a double cooking which make the dough dry.


The history of frise

As it was perfect for the sea transport and the preservation, the legend has it that frise were transported during the long sea journeys of the faithfuls who during the Crusades left from the havens in Salento to reach the Holy Land. For this reason, the name “crusader bread” was handed down during the years.

Their dryness makes them the perfect food to sail and soon became a fundamental food for the fisherman, who used to soak the frise directly in the sea before seasoning them. Their shape, in fact, allows passing a thread through to transport them in the ship during the journeys.

Apulian frise recipe


The secret of the frise is the durum wheat flour and the toasting, which make them dry and crispy. The dough is rolled as a donut and baked at high temperatures in wood ovens for few minutes; the bread, still warm, are cut with a thin thread in two rough and irregular disks, and baked again at lower temperatures until they become crispy.

To taste them, place the frise under the running water for a couple of seconds, rub with garlic and season with extra virgin oil and salt. Cover with tomatoes and basil. Enjoy!



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EFW Staff