Frico

Frico, Fricò
Alternative names Cheese crisp (thin version)
Type Garnish (thin version)
Place of origin Italy
Region or state Friuli
Main ingredients Cheese, Potato
Cookbook: Frico, Fricò  Media: Frico, Fricò

Frico (in original Friulian language fricò) is a typical dish of Friuli, a region in north-west Italy, consisting mainly of heated cheese and, optionally, other ingredients as potatoes. Originally frico was the method used in the impoverished region to recycle cheese rinds. It consists mainly of two versions: one soft and thick, which is usually served in slices[1], one thin and crunchy, which can be used either as a garnish or as an appetizer. While the soft version has a long tradition, the history behind the thin version is discussed.[2]. Frico has similarities to another Alpine dish, Rösti.

The first recipes for frico date back to around 1450 by Maestro Martino, cook of the camerlengo of the Aquileia patriarch.[1][3]

Preparation

As many other traditional dishes, frico's preparation is quite simple.

Soft Frico

Soft frico is made of high-fat cheese, typically Montasio, optionally with potatoes, onions or other ingredients. After slicing the potatoes are roasted with butter and seasoned, the shredded cheese is then added on the frying pan and everything is heated until the cheese melts and becomes crisp and golden on both sides. The potatoes used in the preparation weight no more than the used cheese.[1]

While Montasio is the typical cheese used for frico, other cheeses as Asiago cheese or even mixtures of cheeses might be used.

It can be served with polenta and red wine.

Thin Frico

For this second version a thin layer of shredded cheese is added on a frying pan, until the cheese becomes malleable and slightly crispy. As long as the frico remains warm it can be modelled into baskets, bowls or other decorative containers for food.[4]

Coming from a small region, frico remains relatively unknown even among Italians. Probably it was best covered on main media in Italy and US was when Luca Manfè prepared it at the semi-finals of the fourth season of Masterchef[5].

See also

References

  1. 1 2 3 "frico friulano".
  2. "Land of Friuli" (PDF).
  3. Valli, Emilia. La cucina del Friuli. Newton Compton Editori. pp. 206–208.
  4. Making a frico basket
  5. "masterchef vince luca manfe".


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