You need a lot of research and creativity when starting a sandwich shop, specialty bakery, or Italian pizza place. Research is required to get the taste right and stay true to the Italian traditions and recipes. Even if you want to localize your products, it’s best to know what you are deviating from.
There’s also where ample creativity steps in. You need to stand out from other stores that serve Italian sandwiches. Are you a food stop for workers rushing to their offices? Are you handling a sit-in restaurant fancy enough for coats, ties, and swanky dinner dates? Or is it a family-friendly pizza place with flavors that cater to both the young and the old? Consider staying true to the facts, finding your niche, and working from there.
While we’re at it, we can look at ciabatta bread as a staple of Italian cuisine. It’s something that can be appreciated anywhere by anyone who eats bread.
Ciabatta is a relatively recent innovation. Arnaldo Cavallari, a baker from Polesine, Italy, formulated its recipe as a response to the popular old French baguette. What he made (and later licensed with his bread company Molin Adriesi) was a bread derived from wheat and baked with yeast, salt, water, and olive oil. It can be soft and chewy or hard and crispy, but it is usually elongated in shape. Whatever the case, it’s a fit for so many spreads and delicacies. It’s popular for both its subtle yet enriching taste and its ability to adapt to different kinds of meals. Anything can be served with ciabatta.
You can start by using the barest of spreads: cheddar cheese, salted butter, or olive oil mixed with vinaigrette. You can even opt for the salad, with the ciabatta soaking the extra oil. However, it’s even better to mix and match. You can create sausage sandwiches with a variety of cheeses, slices of cucumber and tomato, crispy lettuce, and other meats and sauces using the ever-reliable soft ciabatta bread. Or you can create a single-person pizza, with oozing layers of cheese, tomatoes, and pepperoni. Other things you can mix are different kinds of cheese. You can even serve three-cheese or four-cheese sandwiches.
But the fun doesn’t stop with sandwiches. You can serve ciabatta bread as a side dish or an appetizer. Usually served in crispy slices before meals, hard ciabatta can be softened if served with saucy pasta meals. You can soak the hard bread in the extra sauce, whether it be oil-based, tomato-based, or cream-based, and what you get is an honorary sandwich. Ciabatta can also be eaten on its own, especially when served with thick hot drinks like cocoa or authentic Italian coffee.
There’s so much you can do with a kind of bread like ciabatta. It is an Italian treasure that we can agree on its culture. It tastes great, it comes in many forms, and it suits everyone. That’s why it’s so easy to come up with ways to make it taste even better.