Modigliana Chocolate Mandorlato

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Modigliana chocolate mandorlato is a traditional chocolate-almond cake from Modigliana, a small town in the province of Forlì-Cesena, in Emilia Romagna. The ancient recipe has been passed down orally from generation to generation. Historical documents from the 19th century cite confectioner Giuseppe Assirelli as being the first to produce this prized dessert on a wider scale, and it has been the recipient of a number of awards: in 1906 the silver medal at the “Salone Internazionale” in Milan, in 1907 the silver medal from the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, in 1909 the gold medal with diploma of honor at the International Exposition in Paris, in 1910 the grand diploma of honor and cross of merit and also in 1910 the diploma and golden medal in Cremona.

Initially associated with Christmas tradition and only prepared in November and December, the chocolate-almond cake gradually became a treat for all seasons. The traditional recipe calls for cocoa, almonds, candied orange and citron peel, flour, cane sugar and spices. The flour comes from locally grown ancient varieties of wheat like Gentil Rosso and Rieti. The secret to its success lies in the precise balance between the ingredients and the unusual working of the dough, which is pressed by hand into circular molds before being baked in the oven.

In the 1930s, Assirelli passed his recipe on to his assistant, Goffredo Cicognani, though during Christmastime the town’s families and bakeries all produce their own personal variation. Goffredo’s son, Valdemaro, carried on his father’s business until the mid-1990s, before closing it for age and health reasons. The secret recipe was at risk of being lost, until Maurizio Mortani and his family decided to revive the business, preserving the ancient tradition and promoting it in their small artisanal atelier, Modigliantica. The original product is currently at risk of extinction because variations that do not respect the traditional recipe can be found on the market.

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Emilia Romagna

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Cakes, pastries and sweets