Shortbread. But not as we know it.

Some like it hot: the Italians like it sweet. Throughout the country the tradition of visiting la pasticceria – the pastry shop – is alive and kicking. In the morning people drop in for a pastry and maybe a coffee if the shop is a bar pasticceria, in the afternoon and evening, for sweets and biscuits. And a few pastries or biscotti are commonly bought as a small gift, or token of thanks. We sell a small range of the kind of things you would find in an Italian pasticceria in the Everything Sweet section of our online shop.

Now we’ve discovered a biscuit maker in the south of Italy who is producing some wonderful products using purely natural ingredients. When we were there recently we were like, well… kids in a biscuit factory. (It was a bit like a scene from Willy Wonka!) Most of his products are made from pasta frolla. That’s pasta as in pastry, not as in pasta. There’s no exact equivalent outside of Italy (and even within Italy there are plenty of variations), but basically it’s a sweet pastry with a similar texture to shortbread: a simple mixture of flour, butter, sugar and egg. Sometimes lemon zest is added. Sometimes ground almonds. The dough can be formed into any number of delicious delights and variously combined with chocolate, jam, marmalade, nuts, chocolate…each one a special, and especially tasty, mouthful.

Yes, I’m afraid we were forced to taste each different kind of biscuit. Resistance was useless. But as a result we can happily report that these deliciously moreish dolcetti are a real treat with coffee or tea…or just on their own. And the little assortments make a lovely gift, Italian style! And we can even more happily report that first supplies of these sweet goodies will be arriving with us soon – you may want to start licking lips now.

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