A frico is a cheese pancake that isn’t really a pancake because it has no eggs. Fried until it’s firm and crisp, it’s typical of Carnia, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. Potatoes are usually added but the variations are endless and each village and mountain valley has their own interpretation or recipe. Nowadays it’s served with a salad for starters but it really seems like a pretty hefty starter.
The biggest frico ever made was made by the Udine Association of Chefs in Austria and measured 3 meters across, weighed just over 600 kgs with the frico itself weighing 300 kg.
A really interesting place to make one when you have friends around, is at a fireplace called a fogolar which is more than merely a fireplace but also so much more than merely a place where food is cooked. Friends and families socialize at a fogolar and meet to eat, drink and be merry – much like at a barbecue. The hearth, where food is grilled over a wooden fire is usually found in the middle of the kitchen and it has a massive flue overhead. Pork, chicken, beans – anything really is cooked there and it makes for a stimulating evening.
Other cheese recipes: