Crescia – crepe

Crescia – Image of the “crescia ‘sa le foje” of the province of Ancona – Ptram Public Domain

The name crescia indicates some types of focaccia spread in the regions of Marche and Umbria. The crescia probably has a common ancestry to the piadina romagnola, to look for in the bread in use by the Byzantine army, stationed for centuries in Romagna, in the north of Marche (Pentapolis), and the Umbrian Valley crossed by the via Flaminia.

Ingredients

  • flour,
  • eggs,
  • water,
  • lard,
  • salt
  • pepper

Local variants
Urbino area

The crescia of Urbino, also called crescia sfogliata, crostolo or, more rarely, piadina sfogliata, typical of Urbino and Montefeltro, is made with flour, eggs, water, lard, salt and pepper. The pasta sheet obtained with a rolling pin is greased with lard and rolled up to release pieces that integrate with the rest of the pasta. Crushed into discs and cooked, it takes on a characteristic layered structure, golden and crunchy. It is typically eaten hot with sausage, herbs, ham, loin of pork, or cheese. A variant, the crostolo of Urbania, foresees the substitution of wheat flour with polenta which remains attached to the cauldron.

Pesaro and Fano area

Pesaro’s crescia often called “piadina,” is widespread in the Pesaro and Fano areas and the surrounding countryside. It does not use yeast, is rolled out with a rolling pin, and contains a high quantity of lard. There are two variants: crescia vonta and crescia sfojeta. The crescia vonta is pretty thick, and after being cooked and greased on both sides with pork lard, and passed on the grill; sometimes, it is stuffed with cabbage sautéed in a pan. The crescia sfojeta is also thick, rectangular; it is rolled out once, folded over, and rolled out again with a rolling pin, thus obtaining many layers. Initially, these very nutritious were destined to farmers and were helpful in restore themselves from the hard work in the fields.

Area of Ancona

In Ancona’s province, crescia is made with the same dough as for bread and cooked on the grill or, in a more traditional version, under the embers. It is generally eaten sa’ le foje, with field grasses, but you can also eat it with cold cuts such as loin of pork, salami, and ham. A variant made with leftover polenta grilled on the grill is called cresciola in Jesi and Osimo. It is interesting to remember that in Offagna (one of the castles of Ancona), there is an Academy of Crescia, which organizes the local medieval festivals. This food was so important, in the past, to give the name to a currency in everyday use, cresciolo.

Area of Macerata

Also, in Macerata and the whole area of Alto Chiascio, locals prepare crescia with bread dough. Its consistency is similar to that of Tuscan schiacciata. Round, with the edge broken and dimples on the surface (which can keep the oil better), is seasoned with oil, salt, onion, or rosemary. Some historical variants include the use of lard and pork cracklings (also called “grasselli” or “sgriscioli”) and the substitution of wheat flour with cornflour.

Area of Ascoli Piceno

Proceeding further south, in the inland areas of Ascoli Piceno, now far from the site of Byzantine domination, crescia gives way to focaccia ripiena, or chichì ripieno, taller than crescia and richly stuffed.

Umbria

In the region are recognized as PAT the Torta al testo (diffusely called crescia) and the Cresciole di ciccioli.
The crescia of Gubbio is a traditional recipe among the best known and appreciated: the dough is obtained by mixing straightforward ingredients by hand: flour, water, salt. Traditionally cooked on texts or discs of iron put directly on the fireplace embers, today usually cooks on texts of cast iron or non-stick pans now on the stove. It is traditionally served with ham, various cold cuts, cheese, grilled sausages, and spinach cooked in a pan.

Easter crescia

In the northern and central Marche region, the name crescia sometimes indicates a food very different from the typical crescia: it is a tall savory cake: the crescia Pasquale or pizza di Pasqua or pizza di Formaggio, typical of the Pesaro, Ancona, and Macerata areas, with a dough flavored with pecorino cheese, which gives it a golden color and a tasty and robust flavor. The crescia or Easter pizza of Ancona and Macerata combines Pesaro’s recipe with large pieces of pecorino cheese, which during cooking, swell and leave honeycombs inside the crescia; the cheese that drips outside becomes crunchy and makes the dough particularly tasty.

Regional Recipe from Marches, Umbria

ITALIANO

Il nome di crescia indica alcuni tipi di focaccia diffusi nelle regioni Marche e Umbria. La crescia ha probabilmente un’ascendenza comune alla piadina romagnola, da cercare nel pane in uso presso l’esercito bizantino, di stanza per secoli in Romagna, nel nord delle Marche (Pentapoli), e nella Valle Umbra attraversata dalla via Flaminia.

Varianti locali

Zona di Urbino

La crescia urbinate, definita anche crescia sfogliata, crostolo o, più raramente, piadina sfogliata, tipica dell’urbinate e del Montefeltro, si fa con farina, uova, acqua, strutto, sale e pepe. La sfoglia che si ottiene con il mattarello va unta con lo strutto ed arrotolata su se stessa, in modo che rilasci dei pezzi che vanno ad integrarsi con il resto della sfoglia. Schiacciata a disco e cotta, assume una caratteristica struttura a strati, dorata e croccante. Tipicamente si mangia calda con salsiccia, erbe di campo, prosciutto, lonza o formaggio. Una variante, il crostolo di Urbania, prevede la sostituzione della farina di grano con la polenta che resta attaccata al caldaio.

Zona di Pesaro e Fano

La crescia pesarese, spesso chiamata “piadina”, è diffusa nel pesarese, nel fanese e nelle campagne circostanti, non prevede l’uso del lievito, è tirata alta con il mattarello, e contiene un’alta quantità di strutto. Sono presenti due varianti: la crescia vonta e crescia sfojeta. La crescia vonta è abbastanza spessa e dopo cotta viene unta da entrambi i lati con lardo di maiale, si ripassa sulla graticola; a volte viene farcita coi cavoli ripassati in padella. La crescia sfojeta è anch’essa spessa, di forma rettangolare; si stende una prima volta, poi si ripiega e si stende nuovamente con il mattarello; si ottengono in tal modo tanti strati distinti. Originariamente queste cresce molto nutrienti erano destinate ai contadini ed erano loro utili per ritemprarsi dalle dure fatiche dei campi.

Zona di Ancona

In provincia di Ancona, la crescia si prepara con la stessa pasta del pane, ed è in genere cotta alla griglia, o, in una versione più tradizionale, sotto la brace. Si mangia di solito sa’ le foje, cioè con erbe di campo, ma la si può accostare anche a salumi come lonza, salame e prosciutto. Una variante fatta con gli avanzi della polenta ripassati sulla piastra è chiamata cresciola nelle zone di Jesi ed Osimo. È interessante ricordare che ad Offagna (uno dei castelli di Ancona) esiste un’Accademia della Crescia, che organizza le locali Feste medievali. Questo alimento era così importante, in passato, da dare il nome ad una moneta d’uso corrente, il cresciolo.

Zona di Macerata

Anche nella provincia di Macerata, e in tutta la zona dell’Alto Chiascio, la crescia si prepara con la pasta del pane, ma assume una consistenza simile a quella della schiacciata toscana. Rotonda, con l’orlo spezzettato e con fossette sulla superficie (che hanno la funzione di trattenere meglio l’olio), si condisce con olio, sale, cipolla o rosmarino. Alcune varianti storiche prevedono l’uso nell’impasto di strutto e ciccioli di maiale (detti anche “grasselli” o “sgriscioli”), e la sostituzione della farina di grano con quella di granoturco.

Zona di Ascoli Piceno

Procedendo più a sud, nelle aree interne della provincia di Ascoli Piceno, ormai lontano dalla zona di dominazione bizantina, la crescia lascia il posto alla focaccia ripiena, o chichì ripieno, più alta della crescia e riccamente farcita.

Umbria

Nella regione sono riconosciute come PAT la Torta al testo (chiamata diffusamente crescia) e le Cresciole di ciccioli.
La crescia di Gubbio è una ricetta della tradizione fra le più conosciute e apprezzate: l’impasto si ottiene impastando a mano ingredienti molto semplici: farina, acqua, sale . Tradizionalmente cotta su testi ovvero dischi di ferro messi direttamente sulla brace del camino, oggi normalmente si cuoce su testi di ghisa o padelle antiaderenti direttamente sul fornello. Di solito viene servita con prosciutto, affettati vari, formaggi oppure con salsicce alla brace e spinaci cotte in padella.

La crescia di Pasqua

Nelle Marche settentrionali e centrali, il nome di crescia è usato a volte anche per indicare un alimento ben diverso dalla crescia tipica: si tratta di una torta salata alta: la crescia pasquale o pizza di Pasqua o pizza di formaggio, tipica del pesarese, dell’anconitano e del maceratese, con un impasto insaporito da formaggio pecorino, che le dona un colore dorato ed un sapore forte e gustoso. La crescia o pizza di Pasqua dell’anconetano e del maceratese unisce alla ricetta pesarese grossi pezzi di formaggio pecorino, che durante la cottura si gonfiano e lasciano degli alveoli all’interno della crescia; il formaggio che cola all’esterno diventa croccante, e rende particolarmente saporito l’impasto.

Lenticchia di Castelluccio di Norcia – Castelluccio di Norcia Lentil

Lenticchia di Castelluccio di Norcia – Zyance CC BY-SA 2.5

Ingredients

  • fruit and vegetable product with a protected geographical indication

Description

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Lentil from Castelluccio di Norcia (IGP) is an Italian fruit and vegetable product with a protected geographical indication, typical of the plains of Castelluccio, a hamlet of Norcia. The production area of the PGI also includes the neighboring regions of the Marche region in the Monti Sibillini National Park.
Lens culinaris Medik is a dicotyledonous plant of the Fabaceae family (or Leguminosae) called lentil, cultivated since ancient times. It is an annual plant whose fruits contain two round flattened seeds, edible, rich in protein and iron, and lentils with different varieties, enormously appreciated in Europe. However, the world production is not high (3,841,883 t (2004)).

Varieties of lentils

It represents one of the first domesticated species: archaeological evidence related to the Franchthi cave in Greece shows they ate it between 13,000 and 11,000 BC. It was one of the first domesticated crops, and its consumption is attested in the biblical episode of Esau in Genesis.

How to use the Lenticchia di Castelluccio di Norcia – Castelluccio di Norcia Lentil

Lentil is an annual herbaceous plant, 20 cm to 70 cm tall. The stems are straight and branched.
The leaves are alternate and compound (imparipinnate with 10-14 oblong leaflets) and end with a tendril, usually bifid or straightforward. They have toothed stipules at the base.
With papilionaceous corolla typical of the subfamily of Faboideae, the flowers are white or pale blue and gathered in clusters of two to four. The calyx is regular, with five thin and relatively long teeth. Flowering occurs between May and July.
Fruits are short, flattened pods containing two seeds with a characteristic, slightly convex lens shape. The seeds’ color varies according to the variety from pale (light green, blond, pink) to darker (dark green, brown, purplish).

Regional Product of Umbria

Arvoltolo

Arvoltolo – Cantalamessa CC BY 3.0

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Arvoltolo is a fried pizza typical of the Perugia area, widespread in two variants: sweet and salty. It has very ancient origins; it was present in the Umbrian peasant cuisine since the seventeenth century, consumed on holidays, as breakfast or snack. In the area of Orvieto, the arvoltoli take the name of tortucce. They are also called “poltricce”‘ or “frittelle” or “fregnacce,” according to the vernacular of the places of origin; today, they are on the table of the families more tied up to the tradition, in some restaurants of typical kitchen and country festivals.
Ingredients

Recommended servings for 4 people

8 tablespoons of wheat flour
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Water qb.
Salt or sugar to taste
Seed oil for frying

How to make Arvoltolo

Pour flour, water, and oil in a bowl, mixing carefully, avoiding the formation of lumps. From the mixture obtained, cut-out discs, it is advisable to pierce the dough with a fork not to swell. In the meantime, heat the seed oil in a casserole. Fry the disks in the hot oil, one at a time, turning them until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the oil and let them dry on absorbent paper, removing the excess. Sprinkle them with sugar or salt, according to use. They are excellent served hot as an appetizer to be eaten with cold cuts or dessert to eat at the end of the meal.

Events and festivals

The culinary tradition of arvoltolo lives again in the summer period in the characteristic village festivals. In particular, in July, the Tortuccia Festival in Castel Giorgio offers this dish savory, sweet (with sugar or Nutella), and stuffed (with cold cuts or vegetables) versions. Between July and August, the Festival of Wild Boar in Spezzatino, dell’Arvoltolo and typical Umbrian products in Migliano, and September the Festival of Arvoltolo in Olmeto. From August 2018 takes place in the first Palazzo Sagra dell’arvoltolo.

Curiosity

“The name arvoltolo perhaps derives precisely from the need to turn and turn (arvoltare, in Perugia) the batter, to allow cooking on both sides.”

Regional Recipe from Umbria

From Bittman: Beer glazed black beans

Beer glazed black beans – gustiamo.com

Description

This recipe is from Mark Bittman’s How to cook everything. When we read about it in Mark’s weekly newsletter, we had to try it ourselves to find out what he has to say about cooking black beans with beer:
It’s incredible how much flavor you get from adding a cup of beer to black beans, and nearly any beer will work: Lagers and wheat beers yield a lighter and fruitier dish, porters will be rich, and stouts richer still, with deep, caramelized flavors.
It’s a very satisfying bean stew, where Bio Alberti black beans shine with their smoky aromas. It can be served as a soup if you add some extra cooking water at the end or as a rich vegetarian side dish that bursts with flavor.

Ingredients

2 spoons extra virgin olive oil
One onion, chopped
One garlic clove
1 cup beer
3 cups black beans, drained but still moist
One spoon of chili peppers
One spoon honey
Sea Salt
Pepper

How to make Beer glazed black beans

  1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water.
  2. Discard the water and put the beans in the most heavy-lidded pot you have.
  3. Bring to a boil, add salt to the water, and finally lower the flame to a simmer.
  4. Cover with the lid and let it simmer for about an hour.
  5. When they are tender but still with a bite, drain the beans and keep the cooking water.
  6. Put the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and cook, occasionally stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic, cook for about a minute, then add the beer, beans, chili, honey, and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. If beans are too dry, add bean cooking water.
  8. Bring to a steady bubble and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  9. Serve hot. Or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Regional Recipe from Umbria

Maccheroni con le noci – Macaroni with walnuts

Macaroni with walnuts – Alessandro0761 CC BY-SA 3.0

Description

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The sweet macaroni with walnuts, in Viterbo and Umbria’s cuisine, is a typical holiday dessert Christmas (from Christmas Eve to Epiphany), sometimes prepared for All Saints and the Feast of the Dead.
However, it is a typical pasta seasoned to have a strong sweet taste and be consumed cold. It can be pasticciata or compressed into a sort of timbale prepared when the pasta is still boiling.

Ingredients

  • maltagliati,
  • lasagne,
  • reginette,
  • strangozzi,
  • long non-egg pasta

How to make Maccheroni con le noci – Macaroni with walnuts

It is prepared with maltagliati, lasagne, reginette, strangozzi, or with long non-egg pasta. In Trevi and Spoleto’s areas, they prepare it with very soft and elastic gnocchi, made with flour and boiling water. After boiling, seasoned with a mixture of chopped nuts, bread crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon, they add rum, mistrà, or cocoa.
They are present in the cuisine of the Marche region, but they are however typical of Tuscia. Here they are seasoned, in addition to the primary products already mentioned, even in the most imaginative ways, using, for example, bread with honey or grated wine donuts, flakes of dark chocolate, and decorative candies. Nowadays, they use long egg pasta, and honey bread has a more limited use than doughnuts.

Regional Recipe from Latium, Umbria

Frittelle di riso di san Giuseppe – St. Joseph’s rice fritters

Frittelle di riso di san Giuseppe – St. Joseph’s rice fritters – WILO-MA Public Domain

Ingredients

  • rice

Description

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Frittelle di riso di San Giuseppe is a traditional cake for Father’s Day on March 19th in Central Italy. In particular, it is prepared in Tuscany and some areas of Umbria and Lazio.
In Prato, the saying “S. Giuseppe is not made without frittelle” in the sense that the tradition is so deeply rooted to become a way of saying, a proverb. The practice of rice fritters in Tuscany is ancient, so much so that it is already handed down in the “Libro de arte coquinaria” (Book of culinary art) by Maestro Martino de’ Rossi:
“Fa’ cocere il riso molto bene ne lo lacte, et cavandolo fora per farne frittelle observerai l’ordine et modo scripto di sopra (allude to the previous recipes in which it speaks of “making round fritters”) con mano ovvero in quale altra forma ti piace, mettendole a frigere in bono strutto o botiro, overo in bono olio , excepto che non gli hai a mettere né caso (formaggio) né altro lacte”.

How to make Frittelle di riso di san Giuseppe – St. Joseph’s rice fritters

After cooking rice in water, milk, and vanilla, it is mixed with flour, eggs, sugar, yeast, a pinch of salt, rum, or sambuca; eventually, according to taste, raisins, zests, or candied citrus fruits can be added. After letting the preparation rest for at least one hour (the traditional recipe requires many hours), they are fried in spoonfuls and, after drained, they are sprinkled with powdered sugar and served. They are also excellent cold or stuffed with custard.

Regional Recipe from Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio

Dolci dei morti

“fave dei morti”, typical italian biscuits, Perugia – Cantalamessa CC BY 3.0

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Generalities

It is a tradition in Europe and especially in Italy to prepare particular cakes in the days close to November 2, which often remind in the name of this recurrence or the shape and consistency of a bone. Another frequent reference is to fingers, whereas the horse-shaped cake is probably connected to the legend of Proserpina.
Still today, in some Italian countries, people place these sweets on laid tables on the night between November 1 and November 2, sure they will be visited by their dead.

Ingredients

  • flour,
  • eggs,
  • sugar,
  • aromatizers
  • finely chopped almonds
  • sometimes chocolate,
  • jam,
  • candied fruit

Cakes of the dead contain simple ingredients such as flour, eggs, sugar, and aromatizers; often, there are finely chopped almonds or sometimes chocolate, jam, and candied fruit.

Diffusion

These sweets are present, with few variations, as homemade, artisanal, or pastry preparations almost everywhere in the Italian peninsula. The names given are similar from North to South, leaving out the dialectal forms.

Typologies

Cookies
“Fave da morto,” “fave dei morti,” or “fave dolci”: almond pastries, ovoidal and flattened in shape; they look like a macaroon but have a greater consistency (Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Lombardy, Marche, and Umbria). Favette dei Morti” are different, even though they are always made with almonds. They are present all over the North-East of Italy, but in Veneto, in Trieste, and Friuli, they have three colors (cream, brown, and pink) and vary from crunchy to soft (Favette Triestine). In the Bergamo variant, the cookies are flavored with anise and grappa.
“Ossa di morto,” sometimes “ossa da mordere,” Italianizing the Piedmontese “òss ëd mòrt” or “òss da mòrde”: cookies with a hard texture, with almonds and egg white (Marche, Piedmont, and Lombardy).
“Ossi dei morti,” typical of Parma, made of short pastry, covered with sugar or chocolate icing.
“Ossa di morto”: oblong-shaped cookies (Veneto) are sometimes covered with chocolate (Sicily).
According to the original version, Sicily, “Ossa di morto” or “Scardellini” are very dry in consistency and white and light brown. With sugar, flour, egg white, and clove water, they are called “Paste di Garofano.” Very often confused with “Mostacciole,” which, instead, are made with a mixture of honey and spices, such as cloves.
Ossa di morto” are also present in the area of Siena, with origins in Montepulciano. Of crumbly consistency and round shape, they are kneaded with chopped almonds.

Bread derivatives

“I Cavalli”: large, horse-shaped bread (Trentino-Alto Adige).
“Le mani”: circular-shaped bread with two hands joining (Sicily).
“Pan dei morti”: small sweet rolls made of crumbled cookies, dried fruit, and packed on wafers or dusted with powdered sugar (Lombardy).
Pan co’ Santi” are sweet rolls with pepper, raisins, and walnuts, prepared on All Saints’ Day in Siena and Maremma.

Martorana Fruit – Dedda71 CC BY 3.0

Marzipan derivatives

Martorana fruit
“Apostle’s Fingers”: hand-shaped sweet, made of egg pasta and filled with ricotta cream and cream, typical of Sicilian pastry.
Frutta di Martorana is a reproduction of fruits made of almond flour and sugar, also typical of Sicilian tradition.
Nougat variants
“Torrone dei morti” (Nougat of the dead): present in the Neapolitan culinary tradition, they are soft nougats with a size of 50-70 cm, sold in pieces. Unlike classic nougat, they are not made of honey, but cocoa and are prepared in many flavors, hazelnuts or dried and candied fruit, coffee, or other flavors.

More

Fanfullicchie is sweets from Lecce that are sold exclusively on November 1st and 2nd. These are mint-flavored candy canes, usually in a twisted shape.
Sugar puppets (or, in Sicilian: pupaccena, pupi ri Zuccaro): present in the Sicilian tradition, they are colored sugar figurines, reproducing paladins or generic male and female figures (the dead, the ancestors of the family).
Rame di Napoli: in Catania, in the days before and after the commemoration of the dead, it is traditional to eat a soft cocoa cookie covered with chocolate icing.
Catalan Biscuits: they are cookies covered with light sugar or cocoa icing, typical of Palermo and present in other areas of Sicily.
“La Colva,” a sweet from Apulia prepared on November 2 in Foggia, Barletta, Bitonto, and Bisceglie, made with cooked wheat, raisins, chopped walnuts, and almonds, chopped dried figs, dark chocolate chips, pomegranate seeds, sugar, and vincotto. It originates from the cities of Magna Grecia.

Regional Recipe from Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Lombardy, Marche, Sicily, and Umbria

Ciaramicola

Ciaramicola – WikiO&L1026 CC BY-SA 3.0

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The ciaramicola is a typical Easter sweet of the province of Perugia; it is a cake in the shape of a doughnut, red with white icing and colored sugared almonds coverage. This cake, born as a hymn to the city of Perugia, represents the five districts of Porta Sole, Porta Sant’Angelo, Porta Susanna, Porta Eburnea, and Porta San Pietro. The colors appearing in the cake refer to the neighborhoods and the coat of arms of Perugia. Red to the inside, covered with white icing to the outside, and embellished with colored confettini.

Ingredients (for four people)

500 g of flour
200 g of sugar
120 g of butter or lard
Three eggs
50 ml of alchermes
grated rind of orange or lemon peel
a sachet of baking powder (dose for 1/2 kg)
milk
colored candies

How to make Ciaramicola

Place the flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt, and sugar in a heap on a pastry board. Pour in the center the grated zest, two eggs, and one yolk, and gradually add the alchermes, avoiding letting the liqueur contact the eggs. Knead everything for a few minutes. Then add lard or butter and knead until the dough is soft. Pour into a buttered doughnut mold and bake at 180 °C for about half an hour. Remove from the oven and, in the meantime, whisk the remaining egg whites with a pinch of sugar. Arrange the whipped egg whites on the cake’s surface and sprinkle with a sprinkling of colored sprinkles. Put back in the oven, turned off, so that the meringue firms up and retains its white color.

Regional Recipe from Umbria
Production area Perugia

Pizza di Pasqua

Pizza di Pasqua – my aunt CC BY-SA 3.0

Ingredients

  • flour
  • pecorino cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • ciauscolo
  • red wine

Description

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Easter pizza in some areas is also called crescia di Pasqua or Easter cake or cheesecake or crescia brusca. It is a savory leavened bread typical of many regions of central Italy. It is made of flour, eggs, pecorino cheese, parmesan cheese, traditionally served for breakfast on Easter morning or as an appetizer during Easter lunch, accompanied by blessed hard-boiled egg ciauscolo red wine or, again, served in the picnic of Easter Monday.
The cheese Easter pizza is a standard product of Marche and Umbria (where it has obtained the recognition P.A.T. or traditional food product). There is also a sweet version.
This product’s peculiarity is its shape, given by the particular mold in which it is leavened and then baked in the oven: originally in earthenware, today in aluminum; it has a flared shape.

Origins

Easter pizza originated in medieval times by the nuns of Santa Maria Maddalena of Serra de’ Conti in Ancona. The name crescia (by which it is known in the whole Marche region) refers to the dough’s remarkable “growth,” that is, the leavening process, during baking in the oven.
The most ancient information about the preparation of crescia di Pasqua is found in a recipe book written by the nuns and dated back to 1848, titled Memorie delle cresce di Pasqua fatte nel 1848 and, later on, in an anonymous recipe book of 1864 titled Il Cuoco delle Marche.

The recipe over the centuries
Ancient recipe

Ancient cookbooks dating back to the 1800s contain the following recipe: “for three grows, and one for the Father Confessor, we need 16 pounds of flour, one half of milk, 40 eggs, 3 ounces of salt, pepper, one and a half ounces of fat, 3 pounds of dry cheese and 8 pounds of fresh cheese, including the eyes, two sheets of foil, and half a Paolo of good saffron, and this is enough for 24 people and the Father Confessor”. The 40 eggs included in this recipe were meant to commemorate the 40 days of Lent.
A recipe reported in the Memorie delle cresce di Pasqua made in 1848, instead, indicates: “flour 50 pounds, grated old cheese 10 pounds, fresh cheese as judged, milk three jugs and a half, oil 4 pounds and a half, as many eggs as needed, salt 1 pound and 3 ounces, pepper 3 ounces.”

Modern recipe

Nowadays, the main ingredients are flour, eggs, grated pecorino cheese, grated Parmesan cheese (or grana padano), pecorino romano cheese in pieces, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, natural yeast, and milk. Some recipes also include other ingredients, such as saffron, or their substitution with similar ingredients, such as lard or butter instead of oil and Emmental cheese in pieces instead of pecorino cheese.
The dough must be kneaded for a long time to allow the glutinous mesh formation and promote leavening. The dough is then divided and put into special molds that, covered and kept in a humid place, are subject to a long process of leavening and then cooked, always according to tradition, in a wood-burning oven (in ancient times, they were brought to the baker to cook).

The sweet variant of Easter pizza – cantalamessa CC BY-SA 3.0

The sweet variant of Easter pizza
In Umbria and Marche’s areas, there is also a sweet variant. In addition to the presence of sugar, with or without candied fruit, the sweet pizza has a fiocca or a meringue glaze and beads of sugar.

Regional Recipe from Marche, Umbria, Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise

Pampepato

Panpepato di Terni – Wander Umbria CC BY-SA 4.0

Ingredients

  • almonds,
  • hazelnuts,
  • pine nuts,
  • pepper,
  • cinnamon,
  • nutmeg,
  • candied orange and citron,
  • raisins,
  • mixed with or without cocoa,
  • chocolate,
  • coffee,
  • liqueur,
  • honey,
  • flour,
  • cooked grape

How to make Pampepato

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The pampepato, or panpepato, or pampapato is a sweet round shape (or nugget). The ingredients vary depending on the area of production. Usually, there may appear almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, candied orange and citron, raisins mixed with or without cocoa, chocolate, coffee, liqueur, honey, flour, cooked grape must. The cake is then baked in the oven (better if in a wood oven). It is usually consumed as a sweet of the Christmas festivities. However, it remains essentially an artisan product; in some areas, the home preparation and the traditional custom of exchanging the cake are accompanied by a sprig of mistletoe.

Terni Pampepato
The “pampepato ternano” is prepared since the sixteenth century. The origin is probably the Far East, brought by caravans carrying spices around the middle of the sixteenth century. Then, the Italic tradition has added local flavors such as walnuts, citrus fruits, and the “secret” ingredient, the cooked must (“sapa” or “saba” in Roman times), which is difficult to find, but that in Terni is bottled specifically for the preparation of pampepato. The first traces of a written recipe go up again around 1800.
It is a traditional sweet peasant, typical of the holidays because ingredients, especially spices, were costly. The pampepato ternano comes prepared from the ternani rigorously the 8 December, day of the Immaculate Conception, to the beginning of the festivities, but the period, sometimes, is prolonged until 14 February, the festival of San Valentino, patron of the city and the enchanted ones. Tradition has it that at least one example of it remains wrapped until Easter, or even the Assumption (August 15); this testifies to the qualities of preservability of the product, able to keep for a long time (at least three months) without preservatives. There are no exact doses of some ingredients in the original recipe because there are no precise indications; they are added “just enough” until it has the right taste.

Panpepato Senese – Marco Varisco CC BY-SA 2.0

Sienese Gingerbread
Panpepato in Siena dates back to the medieval period. In the 1800s, in honor of Queen Margherita, a new type of panforte, or pampepato, was made, covered with powdered sugar, given Panforte Margherita’s name.

Pampepato of Ferrara
The origins of Ferrara’s pampepato are connected to the tradition of preparing the so-called “enriched bread” during Christmas festivities. The recipe was probably born in Ferrara’s cloistered convents, around the fifteenth century, when the State of the Church had a strong influence on the territory. According to some sources, the exact etymology has this origin, derived from the phrase “Pan del Papa.” But soon, it also became a sweet consumed by the ducal court of the Estensi, who had a solid oriental influence[unclear]. The shape of the cake undoubtedly recalls the form of the papalina.
Ferrara’s pampepato is typically made of dark chocolate, both in the dough and in the external glaze, about 4 mm thick. Hazelnuts, almonds, cinnamon, a hint of pepper, the predominance of the aroma of dark chocolate are the flavors of this cake, which, let’s remember, must be eaten fresh and soft, avoiding it if hard and dry (old).

Gingerbread of Anagni
Panpepato di Anagni is traced back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries when the city hosted the papal curia, an origin also highlighted by the cake’s name, often called Panpapato (Bread of the Pope).
Panpepato from Anagni is a cake made of dried fruits (walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts), candied orange peel, raisins, dark chocolate, honey, and cooked wine. It is distinguished from Ferrara’s one by a lesser use of chocolate, totally absent in the glaze, the absence of cinnamon, and the use of cooked wine must and raisins[source].

Regional Recipe from Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio
Production area Terni, Siena, Ferrara, Anagni

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