Ciabatta is a type of Italian white bread which includes olive oil as one of its ingredients. It was first created in Verona in response to the popularity of the French baguette. Literally, the name means ‘slipper’ as it was named by Francesco Favaron, the original baker, who thought its shape looked like his wife’s slippers.
Toasted sandwiches made from small ciabatta loaves are called panini.
Since its original invention in the 1960s, many new variations have been developed, including a wholemeal version known as ciabatta integrale.