Riano Pangiallo

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Pangiallo is made north of Rome, mainly in Riano.Very similar to panpepato, Pangiallo differs from it because it is sweeter.Pangiallo di Riano is made from a mix of nuts, cocoa, various spirits and candied fruit, macerated for days and finally baked in the oven. It has the shape of a small bread loaf and is made around December 8th for the Christmas festivities. It is then usually kept until Easter. According to the traditional recipe, Pangiallo was made by mixing nuts, candied citron and honey, used both as a sweetener and a preservative. The mass is then covered with a layer of egg batter, and baked in the oven. The name ‘Pangiallo’ comes from the unmistakable egg batter layer which creates the golden, shiny crust which makes it so famous.Over time – due both to the expansion of the geographical borders of the area and the increased communication between Italian regions – this simple bread recipe enriched with a few sweet products has undergone various transformation and additions of ingredients, such as Bronte pistachios or Noto almonds, as well as small dark chocolate drops, candied fruit and walnuts. ? The origin of this product dates back to Imperial Roman times, when Pangiallo cakes were distributed during the winter solstice celebrations to favor the return of the sun, represented by the characteristic golden crust.Legend also has it that, every year, princess Vittoria Colonna gave Pangiallo to the convent of Saint Francis of Assisi during the Christmas festivities. It is interesting to note that, until recent times, housewives in the Rome area used the dried and preserved pits of summer fruits – such as plums and apricots – instead of almonds and hazelnuts, thus reducing costs.On December 8th, Riano celebrates the Pangiallo festival. Today, it’s possible to buy the product at some local bakers. The recipe is mainly handed down orally. Finding Pangiallo has become extremely difficult. It once represented Christmas in Rome, but has now been substituted by other confectionery products.

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Production area:Riano Municipality (Roma province)

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Cakes, pastries and sweets

Nominated by:Paola Strumia