Ferrara Coppia (called ciupeta in the local dialect) is a type of bread in the shape two ribbons of dough knotted together in the with the ends twisted to form a fan with four spokes, called crostini. Each loaf weighs between 3 – 9 oz and has an inviting golden crust and a fragrant smell.
Coppia is an integral part of the culture and history of Ferrara: as early as 1287, communal statutes compelled the city’s bakers to produce bread in the shape of scrolls (orletti), which eventually evolved into a folded bread (ritorto), both believed to be earlier forms of the modern day Ferrara Coppia. These age-old rules stated that the weight of the loaf had to remain unchanged after baking, and the city set penalties for bakers who did not respect these guidelines.
There is a well-documented history of this Ferrarese specialty, often intertwined with the history of the city itself, especially at times of poverty. There are several citations of earlier forms of Coppia in the accounts of the sumptuous Renaissance banquets of the court of Ferrara.
Today, there are about 330 bakeries in the province of Ferrara, most are family-run, and produce a total of 500 quintals of bread per year, of which about 60% are in the form of the Ferrara Coppia.