La Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

cakeby: Leah Weiss and Leslie Diaz, Marist Italy FFE 2013-14

We remember the satisfying moment all too well. The day was February 16th. It was a warm Sunday afternoon. However, all we wanted was to crawl back into bed and rest.

We had just spent the past week entertaining our family and friends who were visiting and we were truly exhausted from showing them our second home. Late nights and early mornings had consumed the past week. Sleep was definitely put on the back burner, consequently leaving our health to suffer. Both our voices were non-existent and we were going through tissues like Cookie Monster goes through cookies. We were too mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted to function.

However, we had a Lorenzo de’ Medici activity scheduled for this day and since we had regrettably missed the previous one we signed up for, we couldn’t bear to skip today’s activity. Despite having absolute zero motivation to interact with anybody, we mustered up what little energy we possessed and walked to the group meeting spot.

Today’s activity was a trip to a monthly organic market in Santo Spirito, about a twenty-minute walk from our apartment building. The LdM guides let us explore the market for an hour. We took a loop around the square to see what the stands had to offer. Luckily, we stumbled upon a stand selling soup – just what we needed to cure our ailments! We each bought a jar and were eager to down the old-fashioned remedy. At that point, we just wanted to return home.

After our purchases, the group reconvened at the church for some free samples from our LdM guides. The samples included some cheese and crackers and a dried prune. Our lack of memory of those tastings proves the nonexistent impact they made on our taste buds.

The last sample we were offered was some sort of cake. The name quickly slipped our minds for it was an Italian recipe we had never heard of. However, what we could not forget was the satisfaction the cake brought to our mouths. When that slice of cake reached our mouths, our eyes instantly lit up. It was moist, sweet, and decadent. The rich flavor left us wanting more. And we were quick to jump when there were leftovers. The cake whose name slipped our memories is perhaps the best thing we have ever eaten. We were told it was only made during Carnevale, and since Carnevale just started, we knew we had to find this marvelous cake again.

Fast forward one week. We went on another activity with the same LdM activity directors. This time, we were sure to write down the name of the slice of heaven: la schiacciata alla fiorentina. Once we knew the name, our hunt to find the cake was unreal. We were warned beforehand, however, that la schiacciata alla fiorentina from the organic market was one of a kind because of the natural ingredients, that there might not be one up to the same caliber. We were not discouraged. So the hunt for la schiacciata alla fiorentina was on.

In the course of one month, we ate seven different slices of la schiacciata alla fiorentina from seven different bakeries. Lo and behold, none of them were up to par when compared to the one from the organic market. We were obviously disappointed. We knew the organic market was only open once a month so we made a pact to visit the market again before we were off for spring break. We kept debating if we should buy a whole sheet of la schiacciata alla fiorentina from the organic market or just buy a slice to see if it was actually as amazing as we remembered it to be. Whatever was decided, we were going to buy the cake regardless.

The day of the organic market finally arrived. We were set on satisfying our month long search. We searched the stands, however we could not find la schiacciata alla fiorentina. After walking around the entire market for the third time, we finally asked one of the vendors about our long awaited cake. To our dismay, there was no la schiacciata alla fiorentina. It was only available during Carnevale time, which ended two weeks ago. (We knew of this fact coming to the market, but our hearts didn’t want to accept it until we knew for sure).

We were truly in disbelief. Did this mean we were never to try the glorious la schiaciatta alla fiorentina again? Only two weeks of the whole year was this cake offered. Well, the mystery on when we will eat la schiaciatta alla fiorentina again may never be solved. However, those few minutes that it took us to consume that delicious cake on that warm Sunday afternoon will forever be etched in our minds.


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