Before modern pizza was invented in Naples, another similar delicious dish was already diffused in Liguria: the Pissalandrea.
This dish represents the encounter of pizza and focaccia bread, and it differs from the Neapolitan version since it is baked in a pan and for its thick dough.
It originated in Genoa in 1490 with the name “Pissa d’Andrea”, allegedly from the name of the Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, particularly fond of it.
The Pissalandrea is still very diffused in all of western Liguria, but also in the South of France, where is known as Pissaladière or Pizzalandeira (to know more about Pissaladière and French cuisine, check here)
The original version of Pissalandrea consisted of white focaccia bread covered with chopped onions, anchovies and a local soft cheese. Over the centuries the recipe was enriched with new ingredients, such as tomato, recently imported from the Americas, rivierasche olives and oregano.
Nonetheless there are many different versions of Pissalandrea, to which correspond different names according to the region and the ingredients used. For instance, the Sardenaira in Sanremo is so called because sardines are used, while the name Pissaladière in Nice seems to come from the French “poisson salé”, which means salted fish.