The Art of Pastry in Prato, Italy

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You may be familiar with these crunchy cookie toasts
typically sold at Starbucks across the United States. Here they are commonly known as “cantuccini,” and are considered a classic Tuscan pastry.

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Prato is home to “Biscottificio”. Antonio Mattei opened his almond biscuit business in the center of Prato  in 1858. It is still operating at that same location at Via Riscasoli, 20, not far from the Duomo.

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Unlike the biscotti I eat at home these are more like a cookie and don’t need to be dipped in coffee to be enjoyed. If you like a “Mrs. Field’s” style, chewy in the middle cookie, try the “Brutti Boni.” They reminded me of a macaroon with saved almonds instead of coconut.

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We also tried the Torta Mantovana.  This is named after the city of it’s origin. The story is that Mattei hosted two nuns on their way to Rome for a Jubilee. In thanks for his hospitality they gave him this cake recipe.

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Made with fresh eggs, butter, sugar, flour, a hint of lemon and covered with chopped almonds, it is a delicate delight.

Here is a YouTube video for making Mantovana tea cake , afraid if you want to taste any of these other treats you will need to visit Prato, because they taste best fresh.

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About Babs

I'm a narrative sculptor navigating her way through the ever-changing currents in what feels like an art ocean. Whether appreciating the calm rhythm of calls for art and exhibiting, or waiting to catch a big wave of inspiration to take me to the top. I just love being in the water. Formerly a pickle packer, theater major, crisis counselor and occupational therapist with a BA in Communications and a BS in Occupational Therapy, only to discover I've always been an artist. My work grows from a strong connection to people and a passion for discovering the beauty in ordinary things. I sculpt figuratively in clay, utilizing the female form and women’s themes. Frequently my inspiration is drawn from childhood memories and my own short poems. Like each of us as humans every work is uniquely influenced by the past and present and has a narrative.
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3 Responses to The Art of Pastry in Prato, Italy

  1. Maria Elena Rodriguez says:

    Barb,
    Seriously, this is all so amazing…I’m enjoying your trip especially the food. Cannot wait to take you and Dave to Mexico!

  2. Pingback: Biscotti – The Italian Cookie « jovinacooksitalian

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