Fainá and Fugazza are two popular items you’ll find on menus at almost every pizza shop in Buenos Aires. Traditionally, they’re made without cheese and are vegan friendly. Heck, Fainá is even gluten free. It’s not everyday that a local favourite just happens to be vegan. When I learn of such a dish, I can’t help but make a point of seeking it out.
Fainá is a thick and squishy bread made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper. In Buenos Aires, many people put Fainá on top of their pizza to make a pizza sandwich. Pizza shops are on every corner and open late, making a them common place to stop for a snack on the way home from the bar. Porteños party hard and many bars stay open until 6:00 or even 7:00 a.m. With that much partying, Fainá is fully justified. For $2.50 Argentinian pesos ($0.65 USD), the price is right!
Fugazza, the cheese less cousin of Fugazetta, is essentially pizza with onions. There’s no tomato sauce, no cheese and no other vegetables. Just heaps of sweet cooked onions and a bit of seasoning. It’s usually made from a thick, white, focaccia-like crust. The lack of ingredients might make it sound boring to some but onion and carb lovers will have no problem enjoying a slice or two. At Kentucky Pizza, each slice costs $2.80 Argentina pesos ($0.73 USD).
Both Fainá and Fugazza are sometimes made with cheese, most commonly Parmesan, so vegans should confirm before ordering. We ordered ours from Kentucky Pizza, a popular chain, and they assured us they were made sin queso (without cheese).
If you don’t plan to visit Buenos Aires anytime soon, you can make some Fainá or Fugazza at home using these recipes.