Sweet Traditions

If you visit Tuscany then you simply must sample some of the region’s traditional cakes, biscuits and sweet treats.

At the Borgo Cooking School you can learn how to make classic Tuscan dolci, including panforte, ricciarelli and pesche di Prato (Prato peaches).

Panforte is Siena's pride and joy, often referred to as 'Italian fruit cake'. Made from dried fruit, nuts, honey and spices, it dates back to the thirteenth century when Crusaders carried this so-called 'strong bread' or 'peppered bread' with them for energy. In fact, the people of Siena believe that each cake should contain 17 different ingredients to represent each of the city's contrade (neighbourhoods).

Ricciarelli are also native to Siena and date back to the fourteenth century. These macaroon-type biscuits are made with almonds, sugar and egg whites, topped with icing sugar and traditionally served at Christmas with a warming glass of vin santo.

Pesche di Prato also have an intriguing history. Created to celebrate the unification of Italy in 1861, these little Italian sweets resemble a peach in appearance and are made using orange and lemon zest and liqueur. Traditionally served at Easter, these delicious treats are still popular with Tuscans today.