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A pissaladière is in effect a Provençal version of the pizza. It consists of a base of bread dough (or sometimes fried slices of bread) with a savoury topping. Nowadays this is usually onions stewed in olive oil, or a mixture of tomatoes and anchovies, or a purée of anchovies and garlic (an anchoïade), all three decorated with black olives, but originally it would have been a mixture of tiny fish, typically the fry of sardines, anchovies, etc., preserved in brine. This was known as pissala (presumably a derivative ultimately of Latin piscis, ‘fish’), and gave its name to the pissaladière. (Despite the striking similarity, there does not appear to be any direct etymological link with Italian pizza.)

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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