Ms. ERMINIA CAN TEACH YOU HOW TO PREPARE THE GIGLIETTO COOKIES AT HER BAKERY!
How in the world do they do it? They make it look so easy! In a fraction of a second, the characteristic shape comes to life on the iron cookie sheet, it is an elegant fleur-de-lis made of water, flour, eggs and sugar. Master baker Erminia explains, “It’s from years of experience. We started making these when we were children.” Three pieces of dough are put on the sheet and quickly shaped. Now the giglietto is ready to be baked in the oven. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I could hardly follow their fast pace as I tried to capture their incredible hand movements as they shaped the cookies at the historic Forno Fiasco in Castel San Pietro Romano, a small town on the hill above Palestrina, a top Monte Ginestro. They could probably have done it blindfolded.It’s quite a spectacle to watch these women bakers with their talented handiwork as they prepare this historic recipe and culinary work of art with naturalness; here it is, the giglietto cookie. Infact watching them makes you want to give it a try.
I WANT TO TRY, TOO!
Please show me again how it’s done! One of the ladies looked at me with smiling eyes and then got to work. She showed me step by step what the correct movements were to shape the giglietto into a flower. Then she gave me some dough and told me to try for myself. I put on the apron, approached the work table and tried to remember the movements. The result? You can see my giglietto in the photo below, it’s the second from left in the bottom row! Not exactly the right shape, but it was worth a few laughs. Now it’s time for a taste. So one of the lady bakers passed me a cookie that had been baked earlier that morning… Wow! Now I understand why SlowFood wants to put the giglietto into its Ark of Taste. The authentically delightful flavor is heavenly, it’s a cookie that’s very different from all the others. It’s light and crispy, simple but lovely. It’s truly unique.
JUST LIKE THEY USED TO MAKE IT…
Master baker Erminia is pleased. She loves her job and she especially loves her giglietti. She prepares them according to the historic recipe and she uses exclusively ingredients tha tare produced in the Monti Prenestini area.The eggs are from organic chicken farms; the flouris from local wheat which is stoneg round by a centuries-old mill. Everythingis genuinely good, local, organic and produced in the Rome countryside.
THE RECIPE FOR THE GIGLIETTO DI PALESTRINA
Palestrina’s giglietto, is a crispy , traditional cookie , a true expression of culinary excellence from the Rome countryside. The recipe is easy: – 3 eggs – 250g sugar – 250g flour. Whisk the eggs and the sugar until frothy, gradually add the flour. On a well-floured work surface use a small amount of dough at a time and pull out three pieces into elongated shapes. Join the three pieces and bend down one on each side which give the effect of flower petals. The cookies should rest a few minutes before being baked. Bake for10 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade. The giglietto cookie is pale in color and should not be cooked until golden brown!!
THE HISTORY OF THE GIGLIETTO
This unique recipe was brought to Italy by the cooks of Palestrina’s noble Barberini family who discovered the flower-shaped cookie during the1600’s while in France. They liked the cookie so much that when they returned to Palestrina they decided to continue making this treat. Since then, the giglietto cookie has been a representative symbol of the town of Palestrina.
THE ANNUAL FOOD FESTIVAL DEDICATED TO THE GIGLIETTO
Every summer the giglietto cookie is celebrated during the food festival which takes place in Palestrina. This year the dates are August 1, 2 and 3. On this occasion the center of Palestrina comes to life with folklore, traditional food and excellent local wine.
OUR CHALLENGE: TRY TO PREPARE THE GIGLIETTO COOKIE
Try your hand at making the giglietto cookie. We will prepare a “cooking laboratory” along with our friends at the Forno Fiasco in Castel San Pietro Romano (Rome). Allow Erminia to guide you as you prepare your first giglietti cookies. We will bake and taste our culinary creations. And because we will be making quite a few, you can even take some home with you to share with your family and friends. ARE YOU READY TO CHALLENGE THE MASTER BAKERS? FOR BOOKING… Rome Countryside accommodations Holiday Home Altavista – Palestrina Tel. +39 333 620 5004 (speak english) Holiday Home La Sosta – Palestrina +39 328 271 4601 B&B La Taverna – Genazzano Tel. +39 333 275 4560 B&B L’Upupa – Palestrina +39 333 948 8864 B&B Casa del Girasole – Genazzano +39 333 948 5935 Anita B&B – Cave +39 366 954 9271 Farm La Sonnina – Genazzano +39 06 955 70012 Farmhouse Le Cerquette – Olevano Romano Tel 06 956 2057 Farmhouse il Noceto – Cave Tel. +39 333 866 1110 WHERE IS PALESTRINA (ROME)