Culinary Canvas

Say Cheese!

The Fugazza: a cheesy postcard from Argentina

Words by Madalena Vilar. Photography by Johan Ståhlberg.

Welcome to Tidbits, bite-sized content exploring tasty morsels that catch our eye and titillate our taste buds.⁠ Visually appealing and deliciously tasting treasures that we think are too good not to share with you – Bon Appétit!

A Fugazza is the Argentinian take on pizza. Or better, a cheesy fusion between a focaccia and a pizza. At restaurant Supper, located in the mountain resort Åre in Sweden, Fredrik Axelsson, Head Chef, tells us more.

“We bake the Fugazza in a cast iron pan and add tons of different cheese and caramelized onion, with some fresh oregano on top. We make a dough that contains very little yeast, knead it and then let it ferment in the cold to make it very airy and lovely to work with.”

The generous cheese mix on top of the bread is mostly Gruyère to get a full and powerful taste. The fact that Gruyère melts very nicely is just a plus.

“We also mix in mozzarella and cheddar on top.” Fredrik explains “The caramelized onion brings the sweetness to the mix. The oil that we dash over, as a finisher, is a mix of olive and rapeseed oil with some chili flakes and garlic. We carefully heat the oil up, just so it starts to bubble, and then let it marinate for a day. It gives it a very subtle but still noticeable heat.The combination of tastes that we want to achieve is acidity, salt and fat. Together they form an amazing taste explosion, almost like Umami.”

The inspiration for the dish comes from the streets of Argentina and this is the restaurant’s own take on it. Using a traditional swedish bread name - Gjutjärnsbröd, literally cast iron bread - the dish is baked in, you guessed it, a cast iron pan. Just like good food, this solid piece lasts a lifetime and is able to reach the 300 degrees needed for the fugazza.

As dreamy as the dish sounds, the process into achieving it wasn't straightforward.

“First we tried to bake it plain in the oven and make it flatter, but it became too similar to a classic pizza. That's when we came up with the idea of the cast iron pans, the same ones we serve our Gambas in. The Fugazza has actually the same dough size as a pizza, but it’s denser and more filling. Everything about fermentation and when the process takes its time is something I really enjoy, says Fredrik. It develops and brings forward all the flavours so much, just like when making a sourdough bread.”

Supper is an odd bird among Åre’s food scene. While the majority focuses on local tastes like lingonberries, reindeer and char, Supper is heavily influenced by the South American flavours. Besides Åre, Supper has restaurants located in Stockholm and Visby and will soon open a fifth restaurant on the mountainside of Åreskutan. Fredrik Axelsson is Head Chef at Supper Åre.

“We bake the Fugazza in a cast iron pan and add tons of different cheese and caramelized onion, with some fresh oregano on top. We make a dough that contains very little yeast, knead it and then let it ferment in the cold to make it very airy and lovely to work with.”

Words by Madalena Vilar. Photography by Johan Ståhlberg.