/The Treccia

The Treccia


The treccia (braid) is a simple enough thing: three strands woven together to make one bigger thing. And in Italy, its form goes beyond the standard Anglophone definition to include food. For decades, I assumed one could only braid hair or gold, but then I moved to Rome and encountered my first treccia di mozzarella at Casa Bleve. Granted, it had been imported from Paestum, as all amazing mozzarella should. Three long strands of the buffalo milk cheese were braided together, creating a consistency and texture that is discernibly different than the standard ball. I’m no scientist, but I guess this has to do with surface area, moisture levels, or something fancy like that. And isn’t it a scientific fact that three pieces of mozzarella always better than one? Yes, that is why it tastes better.

And the treccia approach is not just for cheese anymore. One of my favorite bakeries in Rome, Acqua e Farina in Testaccio, does a series of treccie made from pizza dough twisted around fillings: olives, walnuts, prosciutto cotto, and olive pate are all fair game. The outcome is a crusty outside, a spongy center, and a moist intermediate section where the fillings are in contact with the dough. Now if I could only get them to weave in some mozzarella di bufala

2016-01-07T14:37:52+00:00 September 18th, 2009|Categories: Carbs, Gastronomic Traditions, Rome & Lazio|10 Comments


  1. Lola September 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Drooling here. Thanks for the chipped tooth, I tried biting the laptop.

    need to visit Acqua e Farina asap…

    Lola xx

  2. Katie September 18, 2009 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Ok im an idiot. the place isnt called acqua e farina. its called farinando. duh. i know what because after writing the post i went to testaccio to get a treccia and actually read the sign on the glass storefront. i swear there was a time when i was literate.

  3. semsa denizsel September 19, 2009 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Have been following your site since we met in Kantin. This bread looks like something I would like to try for Kantin’s shop, but with a Turkish twist ofcourse.
    Thanks for the inspiration.
    When will I see you again?

    • Katie September 19, 2009 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Hey Semsa! I’ll be back in Istanbul in November for a few days, then hopefully for a few months in 2010. Count on seeing me. I think about your felafel on a daily basis. I look forward to the treccia turca. Ciao!

  4. Peter @ italyMONDO! September 19, 2009 at 9:03 am - Reply

    “And isn’t it a scientific fact that three pieces of mozzarella always better than one?”

    …I actually believe it is! 😉

    • Katie September 19, 2009 at 11:11 am - Reply

      You cant argue with science.

  5. JP September 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Yummy! I think we ate this in Testaccio last Nov when we went on a sojourn to find fresh turkey and yams!

    • Katie September 20, 2009 at 12:14 am - Reply

      That is exactly what we ate while shopping for last year’s thanksgiving Turkey. Good memory!

  6. JP September 20, 2009 at 2:33 am - Reply

    How could I not remember that trip to Testaccio! The flying turkey in the open market and the delicious lunch @ Volpetti’s (grilled squash). Unforgettable!

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