Among the specialities for which our region is known, there are few famous dessert recipes… but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t actually sweet treats to try.
But which do we think are the DOC Ligurian biscuits?
Canestrelli are flower-shaped shortbread biscuits belonging to the Ligurian tradition, created in the early 19th century in Torriglia near Genoa. The recipe includes only flour, butter, eggs and lots of sugar, but in some cases some lemon juice is also added.
Little curiosity: be careful asking for Canestrelli in Taggia: here the canestrello is a kind of salted cracker, made with our Taggiasco olive oil… delicious! You can find it in all the bakeries of the small town of Taggia.
Amaretti from Sassello
Sassello is a small town on the heights of Albisola, on a road connecting Liguria and Piedmont. It is famous for its particular macaroons that, compared to the better known Saronno macaroons, are softer and more crumbly.
The original recipe calls for sweet almonds, egg white, sugar and bitter almonds, but every pastry shop in Sassello boasts of having a secret ingredient. Other versions of these Ligurian amaretti, less common than those from Sassello, are the macaroons from Vallecrosia and the those from Gavenola, a hamlet of Borghetto d’Arroscia, both in the province of Imperia.
Baci from Alassio
Alassio is a famous seaside resort in the province of Savona, where back in 1919 Rinaldo Balzola, of the famous pastry which bears his name (and is still in business today) patented this sweet that became famous among the town’s rich tourists from all over Europe.
The recipe? Roasted hazelnuts, sugar, bitter cocoa, honey, eggs, egg whites, dark chocolate for the cream.
From Alassio, these Baci actually spread a little throughout Liguria, and now several towns, including Sanremo, boast their own typical baci, which are exactly the same product as the baci created in Alassio.
These biscuits are the real biscuits of Ligurian grandmothers, who use to crumble or dip them in their cup of milk in the morning.Halfway between a biscuit and a rusk, they bear the name of a neighbourhood in Genoa.
They are often confused with Salute biscuits typical of the Ovada area in Piedmont, but they are actually two different products. They were first produced in a bakery in Genoa in 1593 and were originally slices of toasted bread to be eaten during sea crossings as a substitute for galettes. All you need to make them is flour, butter, brewer’s yeast and sugar.
Let us say, however, that our customers’ favourite goodness is the shortbread and biscuits made by our Bruna, the legendary baker from Borgomaro who bakes hundreds of pastries for us during our season. And it is precisely these that you find at our five o’clock tea and on our breakfast buffet that both young and old go crazy for