Exploring Biscotti: Italy’s Favourite Kind Of Biscuit
How many times have you enjoyed some crunchy biscotti with your cup of coffee? Too many to count? We don’t blame you. This crisp golden treat studded with whole almonds is simply irresistible. And yes, while this Italian offering is now enjoyed across the country (and even the world) — this popular biscuit actually came from very humble beginnings.
THE BEGINNINGS OF BISCOTTI
A lot of people believe that biscotti was born in Tuscany. However, it was actually created in Rome, many years ago. Twice baked to make them easy to store, the Romans created the biscotti as a food with a long shelf-life, to be consumed on long, weary journeys or in the middle of battles.
Years later, following the Renaissance, biscotti popped up again — this time, in Tuscany. Down there, they’re actually called ‘cantucci’. From here, they began spreading across the country like wildfire! So, if you enjoy this moreish biscuit, you may credit it to a Tuscan baker named Antonio Mattei. In fact, it was his original recipe that led to the rise of Italy’s tryst with biscotti. It’s now a popular Italian snack, served at home in the afternoon and even at Italian cafés.
Today, the classic biscotti has received spiffy makeovers across the globe. Even so, there’s just something about the Italian biscotti that boasts a rather universal appeal. Here’s a quick low-down on this dearly beloved breakfast and teatime treat.
THE BEST WAY TO EAT BISCOTTI
With Vin Santo
To eat like the Italians, serve biscotti with a glass of Vin Santo — a sweet dessert wine made in the Tuscan region. For centuries, true-blue Italians have enjoyed ending their meals with some biscotti and Vin Santo.
An Italian would frown upon this pairing. But, outside of Italy, biscotti is widely served with everything from cappuccinos and lattes to espressos and black tea. If all you’re looking for is to soften up the biscotti and enjoy its flavour, this pairing will do the job.
For a simple but delicious experience, dunk your biscotto in a glass of warm milk. This will allow the flavours of the biscuit to pop through and tease your tastebuds.
BOSCOTTI WITH A TWIST
Experimenting with biscotti is a whole lot of fun. Every baker adds their unique stamp to this classic. And, so it is that from lemon-flavoured dough to the incorporation of other different ingredients, the biscotti universe is exhaustive. Here are some of our favourites.
The Classic Biscotti
This authentic offering is the most popular one, made using flour, sugar, eggs and whole almonds.
These fresh bites of joy are made with the same basic ingredients, with the addition of lemon and sometimes, vanilla extract and poppy seeds.
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Popularly made around Christmas-time, these biscuits come with the additional goodness of dried cranberries and lovely pistachios.
Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate hazelnut biscotti are all the rage today, across the world. Packed with chocolate and toasty hazelnuts, these crunchy delights make for a great teatime snack.
Biscotti an be savoury too! Use some of Italy’s finest ingredients, savoury biscotti features on a grazing board. Here’s some inspiration for your next party.
• Savoury biscotti with parmesan cheese and olives
• Savoury grana padano cheese biscotti
• Sun-dried tomato and parmesan cheese biscotti
For more Italian snacking options, head here. Grab our Sicilian Spiced Nuts or Truffle Lacquered Nuts. You can also shop for Cacio e Pepe Crackers or Herbed Crostini. And, to stay updated about all our new products and how to best cook Italian food, follow us on Instagram @sorrentina_honestlyitalian.