BISCOTTI, ANCIENT ROME

1ST CENTURY AD

 

NAME: Biscuits of Prato, biscotti di Prato Cantuccini (In modern Italy and Argentina)

 

The origin of the word, Biscotti (plural form of “biscotto”), is from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning "twice-cooked/baked." [1]

 

Biscotti traces back to the Ancient Rome when Roman Biscotti was the most convenient food for travelers and the Roman Legion. [2] Because biscotti are twice-baked, they result in a hard and dry texture, but with a very long shelf life. According to writing of Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), better known as Pliny the Elder, he boasted “that they [biscotti] would be edible for centuries.” [3]

 

During the European Renaissance, biscotti re-emerged in Tuscany, credited to a Tuscan baker who served them with the local sweet dessert wine called Vin Santo. Biscotti’s dry, crunchy texture was deemed to be the perfect medium to soak up the sweet local wine. [4]

 

The first documented biscotti cookie recipe is called “genovese” from Genoa. It was found in a manuscript written down by Amadio Baldanzi, a resident of Prato from the 18th century. [5] But today, because of Biscotti's popularity in coffee houses, many different ingredients are added for more recipe variations.

 

BASIC INGREDIENTS:

Flour, eggs, sugar, almonds, pine nuts

Optional: butter/oil, spice, flavoring, baking powder/soda, dried fruits

Almond Lavendar Biscotti

Photo by mccun934 / CC BY

Chocolate Rosemary Biscotti

Photo by mccun934 / CC BY

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Nonni's

Almond Dark Chocolate Biscotti

La Dolce Vita

Classic Italian Biscotti 

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