Childhood taste and local traditions

The past weekend was the last one of the holiday season and I was back at my family house…Recently, I had seen on the internet a picture of a cake I used to have when I was a child and it suddenly reminded me a taste (and a name) I had totally forgotten. I told my parents, and, as often happens, they made me find the cake when I got home, and it was homemade this time. It is called “Panforte” and it comes from Siena, an area of central Italy. As you can see in the picture, this cake is quite “heavy”, but it tastes delicious. The original recipe uses honey, that my parents have easily substituted with agave. So what they used is: 400 g of almonds, 150 g of flour, 350 gr. of agave, 120 gr. of rice syrup, a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon (half a teaspoon), grated peels of two oranges, 3 cloves, 5 gr. of coriander seeds and 10 gr of pepper. They topped the cake with coconut flakes. I’m not gonna write how to make it, cause it’s a bit complicated and it usually bought rather than made, but maybe this ingredients can be inspirational for some other, easier, winter cake. Here’s how it looks:
Panforte di SienaCloves are used a lot in winter, for beverages and for food. Another regional dessert, this time from the south of Italy, is “Mustacciuoli”, that we’ve always had at Christmas time. This is also a bit complex to make, but extremely pleasant to eat. And, of course, quite caloric too. The recipe is perfect for vegans, as the ingredients are: flour, sugar, cocoa, cloves, grated orange peel, cinnamon, water, and they are covered in dark chocolate. (I love them).
So, this was one more about holidays food “exceptions”, but this is indeed a special time of the year. Anyway, veganism and tradition seem to couple quite good. 



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