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Discover the Christmas Cake of Abruzzo – Parrozzo

Italy’s cuisine never ceases to amaze me!  Christmas, as you will know and if you celebrate it, is coming.  This means that out come all the Christmas favorites, and in Italy just about every single one of Italy’s twenty regions has its favorites.

Take, for example, Abruzzo which has its very own Christmas cake.  The name of this chocolate covered cake is Parrozzo.

I was a little suprised to learn that Parrozzo is not one of those cakes which has been cooked since the dawn of time.  No.  Instead, Parrozzo was created less than 100 years ago in 1920 by one Luigi D’Amico, the owner of a cake shop in Pescara.

Parrozzo, A Christmas Cake from Abruzzo, Italy
Parrozzo, A Christmas Cake from Abruzzo, Italy

This Christmas cake also has a song named after it: La Canzone del Parrozzo.  The song was written by appreciative poet/politician – Gabriele D’Annunzio.

What’s Parrozzo made out of?  A good question.  The main ingredients are:

  • semolina or, alternatively, with cornmeal or flour,
  • sugar,
  • ground almonds,
  • essence of bitter almond,
  • orange or lemon peel.
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The cone shaped cake is then covered in dark chocolate.  Although generally made around Christmas, Parrozzo is also consumed at other times of the year.

What does Parrozzo taste like?  I really have no idea.  I’m in Milan, and the chances of finding Parrozzo cake in Milan, despite Abruzzo being in the very same nation, are rather slim.  Maybe there’s a bakery in Milan which cooks Parrozzo around Christmas time, but I doubt it.  I’ll keep my eye open for some Parrozzo cakes though.

Here in Lombardy, Christmas means panetone and pan d’oro type Christmas cakes, as well as variations on the pan d’oro themes, but that’s another story.

Maybe Italy Chronicles Abruzzo based contributor Anna has tried Parozzo?

Parozzo photo by RaBoe/Wikipedia

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