Spiga d'Oro - mola di bari, italy
Rating: 6 / 10
Looks can only get you so far in life, but if this was judged on looks alone it would be a ten out of ten. Unfortunately the interiors of this lovely little shop in Mola di Bari, don't match up with the quality of their focaccia.
Walking in here you feel like time truly has stood still. Be it for a few modern touches like tube lights, the place could have been from a hundred years ago. Both the cashier and the old lady hovering around were straight out of a De Sica film.
I ordered a slice of their tomato and olive focaccia and jangled around in my pockets for a suitable coin. After that we walked down to the main square, bought a cold drink and sat on a bench watching the local men plod around in afternoon routines.
This bread reminded me of another one in Bari that I didn't care for so much. It had the heavier, thicker weight to it but lacked the pleasing texture. It was too dense and compact for my liking and missed the heavy crunch factor so many top focaccia's have. The tomatoes were nicely blistered but lacked a bit of salt to truly bring forth their flavour, and my olives sadly got waylaid in the cutting process.
Kudos for keeping such an old skool establishment up and running, but those kind of bakeries run on nostalgic fumes and perhaps cater to people who grew up on their flavours. Familiarity can be an addictive pursuit.
Read about my favourite focaccia in Bari here.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"