Tiròt is the Mantuan dialect word for a typical focaccia historically produced in Felonica. The municipality, a hundred miles from the Po Delta, lies in the southeast corner of the province of Mantua, where Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto meet.
The name Tiròt comes from the tiratura (the act of pulling) of the soft dough (a mixture of “0 type” flour, onion, lard, extra-virgin olive oil, yeast, salt and water), which is stretched out into baking trays by hand. In the past, every family in Felonica would make Tiròt on special occasions. All the women had their own recipes, and they would prepare the dough at home before taking it to the town ovens for baking. The powerful, delicious smell of onions would drift out of the ovens and fill the streets.
Tiròt is closely associated with the cultivation of its most important ingredient: Felonica yellow onions, a crop that was a significant source of income for many families in the past.
The strongly oniony Tiròt has a sweet but intensely sapid flavor. To best appreciate its flavor and the textural equilibrium between crunchy and soft, Tiròt should be eaten fresh from the oven. Traditionally cut into rectangles, it is just a few millimeters thick and deep golden-yellow in color.
The Presidium unites two bakeries in Felonica who have agreed to make traditional Tiròt following a shared production protocol. The Presidium was founded to protect the authentic Felonica Tiròt from imitations, to increase demand for the flatbread and to promote the local area through the revival of the Felonica yellow onion variety.
The Presidium promotes a local production chain that links the bakers to farms, and hopes to recover abandoned land and create new jobs. To this end, the Felonica municipal authority is working with the cooperative Il Ponte to start a social agriculture project which will involve people with difficulties.
The Felonica tourist board will also be promoting Tiròt on Sundays from June to September.
Felonica municipality, Mantua province
Tiròt is produced throughout the year. To best appreciate its flavor and the textural equilibrium between crunchy and soft, Tiròt should be eaten fresh from the oven. The first harvest of onions is between May and August and the second “agostona” harvest for onions to store through the winter is in August and September.
Giovanna Vandini, Felonica (Mn) Via Garibaldi 43, tel. +39 0386 66149
Marco Evangelisti, Felonica (Mn), Quatrelle, Via Cittadella 14, tel. +39 0386 66643
Pro loco Felonica, Felonica (Mn), tel. +39 329 6917732
The social project for the coltivation of yellow onions is in collaboration with:
Cooperativa il Ponte, Sermide (Mn) Via F.lli Bandiera 124, tel. +39 0386 961399, www.coop-ilponte.org