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Author Topic: Ook Ook  (Read 422 times)

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Offline wotavidone

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Ook Ook
« on: January 26, 2018, 05:09:19 PM »
My town has a large population of people of Italian descent.
Most of the early immigrants came from Molfetta.
They spoke the Bari dialect.

(A friend of mine told of some of his relatives who went "home" to Molfetta and toured a monastery outside the city. Chattering away in what they called Italian, the were somewhat bemused to find themselves being recorded by the monks who were excited to hear such an undiluted version of the dialect still being spoken.)

Anyway, the Molfettese have a version of focaccia they call Ook Ook.
Take bread or pizza dough, flatten it out to about an inch thick shaped to your baking tray.
Put a quarter inch of olive oil in the tray, lay the dough on it.
Dimple the top of the dough with your fingers, more oil on top to fill the little wells you make.
Top with thick slices of ripe tomato, sprinkle liberally with rocks salt, oregano and basil.

Bake in a hot oven.
Any variations like different toppings, dry baking without the liberal lashings of oil, etc means it becomes focaccia not ook ook.
Link to a photo of the finished product that I put on Forno Bravo

https://community.fornobravo.com/filedata/fetch?photoid=302748
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 05:10:58 PM by wotavidone »

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Ook Ook
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 06:03:27 PM »
Ook, ook!  I want to try this! 

Offline Rolls

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Re: Ook Ook
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 09:26:48 AM »
wotavidone,

Great post.  I'm always fascinated by how food and language evolve from place to place.  It is not uncommon for antiquated dialects to be kept alive by emigrants in foreign lands rather than the country of origin.

Is it possible the "ook ook" you describe is the same as a focaccia typical of the Molfetta area which is often called "u cucl" or "u cuchele"?  While the spelling is different from "ook ook" I can see how the pronunciation is similar.  Apparently, these words are a reference to the round pan which is typical in the Apuglia region for baking focaccia.

The variances in toppings is also an interesting subject, but I think drizzling olive oil on the top of the focaccia is very common in most focacce pugliesi.

Love the look of your "ook ook" baked in the Forno Bravo and was wondering if you used durum flour/ semolina rimacinata or regular wheat flour.  Also, was wondering about the general quality of tomatoes available in Australian markets.

Thanks,


Rolls
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 11:34:50 AM by Rolls »
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?  A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Ook Ook
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 02:47:50 AM »
I use supermarket generic flour. Plain, not self raising, of course. Tomato availability is quite variable. At times you can only buy greenhouse raised "cricket balls". Round, hard, red, but damned tasteless. A other times you can get just about anything, even fairly rare heirloom varieties. Yellow ones, Black Russians, etc.

It's almost always possible to buy Roma tomatoes. They are usually expensive, which I find weird. They are, in my neck of the woods, probably the easiest to grow. Go figure. They taste great, if you like your tomatoes on the slightly acidic side like I do.

 I'd say you are probably correct with the "u cucl".
Bearing in mind that many of the early immigrants weren't particularly literate in their own language, let alone Strine (Australian English), I can see how they would have just used some spelling that was phonetically close. I spell it OOK OOK because that was what was written on the blackboard outside a local deli.
My mate Andy RIP, insisted it was spelled ucooc, as his Italian wife Angie said there was no k in the dialect. So. I reckon you'd be spot on.

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Ook Ook
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 03:02:01 AM »
wotavidone,

Great post.  I'm always fascinated by how food and language evolve from place to place.  It is not uncommon for antiquated dialects to be kept alive by emigrants in foreign lands rather than the country of origin.

Is it possible the "ook ook" you describe is the same as a focaccia typical of the Molfetta area which is often called "u cucl" or "u cuchele"?  While the spelling is different from "ook ook" I can see how the pronunciation is similar.  Apparently, these words are a reference to the round pan which is typical in the Apuglia region for baking focaccia.

The variances in toppings is also an interesting subject, but I think drizzling olive oil on the top of the focaccia is very common in most focacce pugliesi.

Love the look of your "ook ook" baked in the Forno Bravo and was wondering if you used durum flour/ semolina rimacinata or regular wheat flour.  Also, was wondering about the general quality of tomatoes available in Australian markets.

Thanks,


Rolls
You know, I've searched for some time for the origins of the OOK OOK recipe, and never really found it. But your clue has set me on the path to righteousness.

With the your spelling, I have come to this page:
http://www.molfettadiscute.com/la-focaccia-pugliese-di-grano-arso/

Half way down they mention the Bari foccacia with only tomatoes for topping.
(First recipe you come to. I did put it here then it occurred to me that I might be infringing copyright.)

So close to the recipes told to me by various local Italians, right down to what Johnny L. told me the other day - push the tomatoes into the dough for the real deal.
When local people make it, they generally don't bother making their own dough. They arrange with the local bakery to buy pre-made dough, or the supermarkets sell dough by the kilo.
This explains why they really soak it in oil - 700g of commercial dough would not have the 120mls (half a cup) of olive oil that this recipe calls for.


Gunna try this one.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 04:29:36 AM by wotavidone »

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Offline wotavidone

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Re: Ook Ook
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2018, 03:13:36 AM »
Of course, I won't be doing any wood oven work for a while.
The temperature out in the toy shed, where I keep my motorcycles, today.
I reckon that'd be about 119F
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 09:15:14 AM by Pete-zza »

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