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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Biscotti or Cantucci, what´s the difference?

I get this question a lot, especially since I offer both, or do I?

The etymology of the word biscotti is the following: Italian, from the Medieval Latin bis coctus, meaning twice cooked. The most famous of these twice baked cookies are the ones that were invented in the Tuscan city of Prato during the 13th century and were called Cantucci or Cantuccini.

So why does Sugar & Spice offer a Biscotti and separately a Cantucci?

When I came to Argentina in 1999 I could not find biscotti anywhere. I was very surprised given the fact that there are so many Italians here. Did the Italians that came to Argentina forget the recipe back home? I started asking around, after I started making them, and found that many people remember their grandmothers making those cookies at home. It seems we are one of the very few who started offering these cookies commercially in Argentina.

I prefer the traditional crispy cookie that the Italians like to dip into Vin Santo. However, I do know that there are many people who would prefer to have a not so dry cookie. I decided then to differentiate between these two styles by calling the more traditional recipe Biscotti and the newer, softer version Cantucci.

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