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Traditional sweets are back in fashion

CNA, 1 in 4 Italians choose them for the festive season: the sector leaps forward by 25% to 40 mln Euro

30, Dec 2022

Over a quarter of the holiday artisan confectionery market is represented by traditional sweets. This was revealed by a survey by the agri-food Cna which records, for the sector, a year characterized by a significant leap: twelve months ago, in fact, the turnover of typical traditional confectionery reached 19.5% of the total while this year broke the 25% barrier. According to Cna Agroalimentare estimates, the turnover of traditional sweets during the Christmas period exceeds 40 million Euros. The survey bears witness to the state of health of these activities guaranteed by a number of companies now exceeding 30,000: over 14,000 bakeries produce and sell sweets directly, more than 12,000 pastry shops and ice cream shops, at least 3,000 pastry shops that work for third parties.

But which are, region by region, the traditional desserts that are the most popular during the festive period between Christmas, New Year and Epiphany? According to the survey by Cna Agroalimentare, in the North the Aosta Valley Lou mecoluen, a sweet bread originally from Cogne, the Piedmontese bonet and the Yule log, of pre-Christian origin, are the masters. In Liguria, pandolce stands out, a leavened focaccia rich in raisins and candied fruit: then there is the Valtellina bisciola, made with rye flour, the South Tyrolean zelten, a fruity bread, the Friulian gubana and potiza.

Among the desserts of Emilia-Romagna, the Certosino, also known as spiced bread, and the Panone di Natale stand out: the main Tuscan specialties are panforte and ricciarelli. In the Marches, bostrengo and cavallucci di Apiro, with grape must, are widespread. In Umbria it is time for panpepato and torciglione, made with almonds; in Abruzzo di parrozzo, a sweet version of rough corn bread, so named by Gabriele D'Annunzio in 1920; in Molise of mustacciuoli, derived from mustaceus, the ancient Roman wedding focaccia.

Sardinia is the land of papassini, large biscuits whose name derives from papassa or pabassa (the sultanas of which they are rich), and of seadas, ravioli filled with pecorino cheese covered with strawberry tree honey. Pangiallo is a traditional Christmas cake from Lazio, so called for the icing that covers it, with a filling of ricotta and saffron.

The centuries-old offer from Campania is particularly rich: struffoli, roccocò, susamielli, zeppole, stuffed calzoncelli. The Apulian pasticciotto and carteddate are famous, from the sauce to the vincotto, the latter also widespread in Lucania and Calabria. Just as Calabrian are specialties such as fichi chino, dried figs stuffed and stacked two by two to form a cross, and petrals. To finish triumphantly in Sicily among the very rich buccellati, cannoli and cubaita, essentially a crunchy made with dried fruit and honey.

Rome, RM, Italy, 29/12/2022 14:42
EFA News - European Food Agency

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