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3 mouthwatering traditional sweets of Abruzzo

Today we discover three delicious sweets from the Abruzzese tradition that are made of simple ingredients but super yummy and good for any occasion.


Typical of the Province of Teramo, in particular Val Vibrata towns, “sassi d’Abruzzo” are also called “mandorle atterrate”. These are almonds treated in such as way as to give them the appearance of pebbles covered in an uneven layer of a brownish color, reminiscent of a layer of earth but actually comprised of cocoa mixed with sugar. To obtain this result, half a glass of water and sugar is brought to boil, then the cocoa is added, and when this has dissolved, unpeeled toasted almonds are added. Then the mixture is stirred until all the sugar sticks perfectly to the almonds. At this point the almonds are left to cool and harden. This confectionery has certainly been produced for more than 25 years, as described in the publication Gastronomia Teramana (Ed. Tercas, Teramo 1978), compiled by Rino Faranda.


This kind of nougat is only produced in Guardiagrele,

also known as "Torrone Aelion" (Province of Chieti), made from whole toasted almonds mixed with sugar, cinnamon and candied fruit. Copper pans were used to mix and cook the ingredients, but have now been replaced by stainless steel containers. Guardiagrele “torrone” bars are usually fairly small (measuring around 8 x 3 cm and weighing 80g) and have long been popular beyond the region. The writer, Ignazio Silone, actually used to order large quantities of them to give to his friends in Rome. This sugar and almond rock is compact, dark and fairly crunchy, with a strong but not excessively sweet taste.


“Spumini” are Abruzzo pastry speciality, shaped in bars that are 6-8 cm long, and made from a mixture of almonds, sugar, grated lemon peel, ground cinnamon and egg-white icing. The mixture is prepared by whisking the egg whites with sugar until stiff. About a quarter of the mixture is then set aside before adding the almonds, cinnamon and grated lemon peel. It is then shaped into large flat fingers, which are spread with the remaining egg white and sugar mixture. These large bars are cut into smaller pieces, about 3cm high, and baked in a cool oven for 15-20 minutes. These pastries have certainly been in production for at least 25 years, as confirmed by Rino Faranda in Gastronomia Teramana (Ed. Tercas, Teramo 1978).


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