How to enjoy home made bread the Italian way

Fabio Teti, Head Chef at Dunfermline's Ciao Italia, tells us about the importance of good quality home made bread in Italy, and why Scottish customers are missing a trick if they don't make use of their "scarpetta".

Published 22nd Jul 2016
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

He says: "As in Italy, we take good quality fresh bread very seriously.

"In fact, no self respecting Italian family will sit down for a meal without a plate of home made bread on the table.


"Some restaurants in Italy still charge a fee known as “Coperto”, which covers bread put on every table, whether diners have a full meal or not.

home made bread

Fresh made bread can make all the difference. Picture: Ciao Italia


"We have the name “Scarpetta”, which loosely means a small soft shoe or slipper which mimics the perfect shape of the “sole” of the bread. It forms the perfect sweeping motion to mop up delicious sauce from the entire plate – so that nothing is wasted.

“It’s not really the done-thing in this country, but I recommend that diners try this out at Ciao Italia, as it is a sign that you have enjoyed your food and is taken as a compliment to the cook (usually Mamma), but myself and the other two chefs which make up the team, will be just as flattered.

The benefits of bread

"Bread can be seen as fattening but the bread we make in the restaurant is very light. If it has air holes in it that is the sign of good wholesome bread. Fresh, home made bread is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

"We provide a big selection – traditional garlic bread, Bruschetta with or without tomatoes and mozzarella, and a choice of foccacias with fresh garlic, sea salt, olive oil and rosemary.

"Try Italian bread served with fresh goat’s cheese, red onion, rocket and balsamic glaze, or topped with smoked Scarmorza cheese and wild mushrooms."

• Situated at 13 Nethertown Broad Street, Dunfermline, you can find out more on their website Ciao Italia 

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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