“Friseddhre” is the dialect form to name a kind of twice-baked bread, currently, also known as frise or friselle in Italian language. Many people think that the former version is totally wrong, while the latter is the right translation of the real name. It is commonly accepted because of the difficulty to pronounce the “ddhr” sound, something typical of Salento, turned into “ll”.
The origin of friselle is mysterious.
Probably they were a kind of food for soldiers and pirates; some others think they were introduced by sailors who used to eat this kind of Greek crackers. They are round shaped and made of wheat and barley flour, baked as a whole and then, when still warm they are cracked in two and baked again in wood oven.
People use to eat friselle mainly in summer, because a frisella is always a fresh and light meal. Acccording to the authentic recipe you should dunk a frisella in water, sprinkle fresh tomatoes and oregano on it, salt and last but not least, flood it –or nearly!- with olive oil.
It could seem a little bit weird to you, but it is not always guaranteed that this process succeeds. Though these are simple moves, you could make a mistake and have an unsatisfying and even disastrous result.
It is simple to say “dunk a frisella”, but which is the right way to do it? Somebody wet it directly turning on the tap or they put it in a bowl full of water and immerse frisella in it. Of course these are the wrong methods that will bring you to eat a muddled mush, a “frisella sponzata” would say people from Lecce.
Now I am going to explain you the exact protocol to perform a perfect operation. First of all you should put on the table a bowl with fresh water, than take the frisella with three fingers –whit the rough side on top- and dunk it into water very quickly for three times. Then you should put your frisella in a soup plate –previously filled with a ladleful of water- and, right at that moment, you can go on with condiments. In this way your frisella will remain solid until the end. Seeing is believing!
Of course you can put on the frisella different condiments : not just tomatoes, but also pepperoni, rocket, chili peppers, capers, marinated fennel –caruselle in dialect- and whatever you like. In this case the frisella turns into a “frisella ‘ncapunata”.