Roccalbegna Savory Biscuit

Italy

Tuscany

Bread and baked goods

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Roccalbegna Savory Biscuit

The origins of this pretzel-shaped savory biscuit are lost somewhere in the Middle Ages. The biscuits were traditionally prepared at home, the recipe jealously guarded by the women of the village of Roccalbegna and passed down from mother to daughter. Until a few decades ago, each kitchen would have a special spoon for mixing the dough, also passed down through the generations.
The recipe uses locally available ingredients (flour, extra-virgin olive oil, aniseeds, white wine, salt), and the biscuit tended to be prepared for special occasions because the main ingredient, olive oil, was very precious.
The biscuits stay fresh and fragrant for a long time, and in the weeks after they were baked they would be eaten for breakfast or at the end of a meal. According to various oral testimonies, it was customary to mark them with keys and other utensils before baking, so that the different batches could be told apart when they were brought to the village’s two wood-burning ovens.
Their preparation involves mixing a dough of flour, extra-virgin olive oil and salt, then adding the aniseeds, which are soaked overnight in white wine. The lightly leavened dough is divided into portions of around 300 grams each, then shaped and braided by hand. After a quick boiling they are ready for baking in the oven.
Roccalbegna savory biscuits have a golden, shiny, irregular surface. Their aroma and flavor is characterized by the olive oil, with lingering aniseed notes.

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Production of this biscuit, once common in other small towns in the Amiata area, has gradually disappeared, surviving only in Roccalbegna, where the tradition was more established. This is thanks in part to the promotional work done since 1982 by the village’s local tourism association, which has organized a festival dedicated to the biscuit, held in the middle of August. The Presidium unites two local bakeries that continue to produce the biscuit, following the traditional recipe and using wine from the Maremma area, Roccalbegna extra-virgin olive oil and flour ground from a variety of wheat registered with the Region of Tuscany’s Germplasm Bank. Preservatives, food colorings and any other kind of artificial additive are not used in making the biscuits.

Production area
Roccalbegna municipality, Grosseto province

Presidium supported by
Municipality of Roccalbegna, Conad Grosseto
Libero Conti
Via XXIV Maggio, 105
Roccalbegna (Gr)
tel. +39 0564 989025
liberoconti@virgilio.it

Antica Locanda La Pietra
di Giancarlo Paderno
Roccalbegna (Gr)
Via XXIV Maggio 69/B
tel. +39 0564 989019

Trattoria La Grotta
di Lucia Lorenzoni
Roccalbegna (Gr)
Via Amiata 249
tel. +39 347 2375609
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Fabiana Fabbreschi
tel. +39 339 7553191
fabianafabbreschi@alice.it

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Libero Conti
tel. +39 0564 989025
Production of this biscuit, once common in other small towns in the Amiata area, has gradually disappeared, surviving only in Roccalbegna, where the tradition was more established. This is thanks in part to the promotional work done since 1982 by the village’s local tourism association, which has organized a festival dedicated to the biscuit, held in the middle of August. The Presidium unites two local bakeries that continue to produce the biscuit, following the traditional recipe and using wine from the Maremma area, Roccalbegna extra-virgin olive oil and flour ground from a variety of wheat registered with the Region of Tuscany’s Germplasm Bank. Preservatives, food colorings and any other kind of artificial additive are not used in making the biscuits.

Production area
Roccalbegna municipality, Grosseto province

Presidium supported by
Municipality of Roccalbegna, Conad Grosseto
Libero Conti
Via XXIV Maggio, 105
Roccalbegna (Gr)
tel. +39 0564 989025
liberoconti@virgilio.it

Antica Locanda La Pietra
di Giancarlo Paderno
Roccalbegna (Gr)
Via XXIV Maggio 69/B
tel. +39 0564 989019

Trattoria La Grotta
di Lucia Lorenzoni
Roccalbegna (Gr)
Via Amiata 249
tel. +39 347 2375609
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Fabiana Fabbreschi
tel. +39 339 7553191
fabianafabbreschi@alice.it

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Libero Conti
tel. +39 0564 989025

Territory

StateItaly
RegionTuscany

Other info

CategoriesBread and baked goods