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The Pizzelle Tale

Coming from Italy pizzelle are mini biscuits that normally feature a floral or interweaved texture pattern embossed onto their exterior. Despite the fact that no exact period for their origins are known. It is known that pizzelle have been used to commemorate significant occasions now for hundreds of years.


So just what can we anticipate the early pizzelle to appear like? Remarkably you would still recognize an earlier 'variety' of pizzelle. It should still be stamped with a design or pattern but this may possibly be a crest or emblem of a family opposed to that of a flowered pattern. Usually this crest would portray the family or the place where they resided.


Things began to evolve slightly with the creation of a baking tool that we may recognize as a pizzelle iron. The maker was elegantly basic, being composed of 2 iron plates. Embossed on each iron plate a pattern was present this would naturally leave a pattern on the cooked pizzelle. These types of makers featured long handles as the device itself was set directly on a hob top or into a fire. A single iron plate was put in the fire along with the dough and then the 2nd plate was placed on top whereby it was held until baked.


It was discussed earlier that pizzelle are typically used at times of festivity. Amongst the most interesting times I have heard of its use is at the festival of snakes. This takes place each March in Colluco, Italy. The event is a celebration of the time when snakes were driven out of the community by the residents. Legend has it that the village was invaded by the serpents and the residents, who had hit the end of their tether, collaborated to purge the community of them.


These days we usually associate the pizzelle with the holiday and it is enjoyed by millions at Xmas and Easter time. But in certain places it still is hailed as a dessert to be enjoyed during wedding celebrations. Bags of pizzelle are given out by both the groom and bride to their friends right after the service has taken place.


Luckily we can now savor pizzelle at any time of the year and without using an open fire! The arrival of the present day, electric pizzelle iron has seen to this. It works very much like a waffle iron and enables us to cook fresh pizzelle in under a minute. So there we have it. A concise history of pizzelle through its origins in Italy to the modern-day dessert we enjoy and celebrate with today.

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