Neapolitan Christmas sweets, Sicilian Christmas sweets, Apulian Christmas sweets, and so on for all the regions of Italy passing through Valle d'Aosta at the Tuscany passing by Marche up to Basilicata – without forgetting the Molise, naturally. From struffoli to cannoli, from panforte to the pangiallo, from panettone to pandoro, our 20 regions give us 20 truly amazing traditional recipes for the festive table.
During the holidays, each region produces its own specialty, in a triumph of spices, dried fruit, honey and sparkling candied fruit. Let it be there Christmas Eve or lunch, the snack of Saint Stephen or the new Year's Eve dinner, bringing a regional dessert to the table always has a certain effect, reminding each of the guests of their roots, where we come from. And then of course there are those who make the recipe differently or remember Grandma's special touch, and so on – but it doesn't matter, what matters is being together and enjoying a sweet moment with a full heart.
20 recipes of 20 regional desserts
parrozzo: The parrozzo was created in 1920 by a pastry chef from Pescara as a sweet version of the "rough bread" of corn. Gabriele D'Annunzio liked it a lot, who invented the name.
Calzoncelli: They are prepared for Christmas throughout Basilicata, especially in the province of Salerno, in Sannio Beneventano and in Irpinia. They are also called "Christmas pasticelle".
Petrali: Petrali, also called chinuliji or chjinuli in dialect depending on the place, are Christmas sweets typical of Reggio Calabria and its province.
Struffoli: Delicious fried sweets of Neapolitan origin that are prepared for the Christmas holidays, but also for Carnival. These little greedy spheres are like cherries, one leads to another!
Carthusian of Bologna: 5 Chinese spices, honey, almonds, pine nuts, dark chocolate and candied fruit: the Certosino di Bologna is the typical dessert during the Holidays. It also requires ammonia for food.
Friuli Venezia Giulia
Potiza: It is a delicious crown of leavened dough stuffed with a very rich filling based on chocolate, nuts, butter and breadcrumbs.
Pangiallo: The pangiallo has very ancient origins in imperial Rome, it has become a typical Lazio dessert for the holidays, which is usually prepared on the day of the Winter Solstice as a good omen.
Genoa Cake: It owes its name to the origins in the foundation of the Republic of Genoa, the Genoese pandolce is a symbol of the region and its city. Preferred during the holidays, it is still consumed all year round.
Artisan panettone: The famous "Pan del Toni" has conquered all of Italy and beyond. As per tradition, it is enriched with creams or fillings. Here is an idea for the covering: melt 120 g of white chocolate and add 60 g of hot milk; emulsify with an immersion blender, adding 20 g of butter. Pour over the panettone.
Seahorses of Apiro: They are the typical sweets of the Marche Christmas tradition with grape must, a poor recipe of peasant origins.
Mostaccioli from Molise: Mostaccioli are typical Christmas sweets from the center-south, which take a different recipe for each region. In Molise, tradition requires that mostaccioli are very sweet pieces of pasta derived from mustaceus, the ancient wedding focaccia.
Bonet: Among the Piedmontese sweets it is the most famous and has very ancient origins. Its name in Piedmontese dialect means "hat": it seems that it was so called precisely because the truncated cone mold into which it was poured resembles the shape of a cap (although today the custom of preparing it in square molds has become increasingly widespread).
Cartellate: Cartellate, in Apulian “carteddate”, are usually prepared in a sweet version, garnished with a sauce based on vincotto, honey and spices. Originally from Puglia, they are also widespread in Basilicata and Calabria.
Papassini: Also called pabassinos or papassinos depending on the area, they are large biscuits prepared with a dough of shortcrust pastry, raisins, almonds, walnuts, grated lemon peel, honey. Their name comes from papassa or pabassa, which is the sultanas of which they are rich.
Cannoli: Together with the cassata, cannoli are a traditional specialty of Sicilian pastry. The original ones are filled with ricotta cream but, once ready, the cannoli can also be filled with fruit or chocolate mousse.
panforte: The great father of Italian cuisine Pellegrino Artusi recommends Tuscan panforte for Christmas lunch in his work Science in the kitchen (1891)
Trentino Alto Adige
Zelten: Dried fruit and candied fruit are the basis of this typical dessert of the South Tyrolean tradition. Very easy and quick to prepare, it is a perfect choice for the holidays.
Umbrian Torciglione: Also known as the "Umbrian snake" due to its circular shape, it is the typical dessert made with almonds, sugar and egg whites. Back on the tables also at Easter.
Lou mécoulen (or lou meculin): Originally from Cogne, it is the sweet Aosta Valley bread considered by many to be the ancestor of panettone.
Artisan Pandoro: Typical Christmas cake from Verona, it has conquered all of Italy with its simple fragrance. The name derives from the Venetian dialect "pan de oro" and was served on the tables together with nadalin.