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This product was created at the end of the nineteenth century in Sanfront, in the Upper Po Valley, when a small bar-pastry shop began to prepare the cookies. On cold winter nights and on market days, people would meet in the pastry shop and dip the cookies into mugs of wine. The word mustacjoj in dialect can be confusing due to its similarity to the name mustaccioli, a cookie that is produced in southern Italy, and in particular in Campania, Puglia, and Sicily. In any case this cookie has a different recipe and is set apart from the others by its hard dough and its cinnamon and clove flavors. As local Barbera wine is included in the dough, this cookie’s taste is also reminiscent of vin brulè.   Aside from domestic consumption, over time these mustacjoj have nearly stopped being sold. A local pastry shop took up the tradition again and, together with a couple of other local shops, has kept this cookie alive by preparing them with the original recipe. The cookie can only be cooked correctly if it is prepared in a wood-burning stove with an open draft, so as to allow them to rise and form the characteristic pocket of air on the inside. Everyone who tastes them notes the sensation of going back in time to experience an antique flavor, and this is why it is fundamental that the traditional methods of preparing these interesting and tantalizing cookies should be safeguarded and protected. Furthermore, in lieu of the original recipe, it is not easy to cook mustacjoj. The correct preparation is not found only in the correct ingredients, but also in the use of a wood-burning stove which gives these cookies their particular flavors and scents.

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Cakes, pastries and sweets

Arca del GustoThe traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.