Panigacci bread is typical of the Lungiana. It has a round, flat shape, and is baked in a special terracotta dish, called testi, which is heated over a fire. A dough made of flour, water and salt is layered until if forms a pile. The final consistency is soft or crunchy, depending on the length of cooking. Panigacci should be eaten with pesto, cold cuts or cheese like stracchino. In order to serve them with the sauce, they must first be boiled and then seasoned thoroughly. Some restaurants in the Lunigiana serve “sweet” versions, which are served at the end of a meal and have chocolate spread over them.
Panigacci have historic origins. In Podenzana, where it comes from, a consortium was established between restaurants in order to maintain the ancient taste of this simple product. During the Second World War, when the Germans destroyed a bridge that connected Podenzana with the rest of the region, the inhabitants survived by eating panigacci made with acorn and chestnut flour.