Elba was the subject, between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, of repeated raids by Saracen pirates and dominated by Spanish lords. This influence of the invasions is particularly visible in the Rye tradition and it is from here that the preparation of the crushes briaca originates.
It is a very particular dessert, with almost dry dough, slightly leavened, without eggs and with these ingredients: pine nuts, raisins, dried fruit, which recall the flavors of the Near East. The preparation, which does not involve the use of yeast or animal fats, makes it a suitable food for a long conservation, therefore ideal for the galley of the islanders who went to sea.
The addition of Aleatico , which makes the schiaccia briaca and gives it the characteristic reddish color, is a nineteenth-century variation that contributed to make it more pleasing to the palates of the gentlemen of the time.
Even more recent is the use of sugar, once rare on the island and usually replaced by honey, and the addition of alkermes , for an extra touch of red .