Gourmet Guide - a la carte
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1.
Apple Strudel
This classic Austrian dessert combines wafer-thin, golden brown pastry with a tasty, juicy filling ...read more
2.
Ice Cream
Invented by the Chinese over 3,000 years ago, ice cream was brought from the Orient to Europe in the 11th century ...read more
3.
Marinated Salmon
In early times fish was buried in the ground to preserve it. Now, thanks to the refrigerator, this is much easier ...read more
4.
Pizza
Bella Italia’s greatest export is a Neapolitan invention ...read more
5.
Chips
Since their invention over 330 years ago these potato sticks approx. 10 centimetres long and 10 millimetres thick ...read more
6.
Fried Dough
Whether a ball or a thick ring, long strips or delicate teardrops, sweet dough fried in fat is a heavenly delight ...read more
7.
Biscotti
When almonds are harvested in the hills of Tuscany during August and September ...read more
8.
Salade niçoise
No other dish is as closely associated with the south of France, the sun and the sea ...read more
9.
Gugelhupf
Many legends have grown up around this cake ...read more
10.
Bouillabaisse
Simple, inspired, delicious! This fish soup from the south of France ...read more
11.
Profiteroles
The small choux pastry puffs work wonderfully as a sweet dessert ...read more
12.
Charlotte
The charlotte was originally a baked dessert, served warm ...read more
13.
Waldorf Salad
Simple rumours often lead to world renown ...read more
14.
Cheesecake
Everyone knows that the best cheesecake of all is the one your mother makes ...read more
15.
Au Gratin – under a Golden Brown Crust
Potatoes and noodles, vegetables, minced meat and fish ...read more
16.
Curry – Fireworks of Aromas
India’s cuisine is full of surprises: The many exotic herbs and spices ...read more
17.
Soufflé
A hot, fluffy soufflé is considered the pinnacle of the culinary arts ...read more
18.
Mousse oh là là!
The firm but fluffy whip is said to be the French national dish ...read more
19.
Fried potatoes
They could be called the “silent stars” among the side dishes ...read more

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COOKING BASICS
Biscotti
Photography: felinda - Fotolia.com
Biscotti
When almonds are harvested in the hills of Tuscany during August and September, food lovers enjoy the aroma of biscotti – Italy’s most popular almond biscuit, enjoyed all over the world.


For fashion experts, Prato, Tuscany represents the heart of the Italian textile industry. It is renowned for the production of traditional, high-quality cloth, with these numerous businesses shaping the town outside of its historical centre. Countless shops also provide the city with excellent shopping facilities.

For art lovers, the town on the Bisenzio river is a must-see when staying in Florence. Alongside outstanding Renaissance works of art, it is home to the internationally renowned Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci. Florence – seen by Prato residents for centuries as predatory and domineering – is unable to offer anything that compares to this spectacular contemporary art foundation.

But what does Prato mean for food lovers? The mere mention of the city’s name gets nostrils twitching, due to the fine aroma of almonds that characterizes biscotti di Prato. The local pasticcerie fill the city with this wonderful smell, and under their everyday name of biscotti, the biscuits have gained global fame.

Biscotti were not, however, originally created in Prato. The oldest recipe preserved in the city’s archive states their regional origin as “di Genova”, though a lasting tradition of biscotti failed to develop there. This may be due to the fact that in the collective memory of the seafarer republic, the term biscotto (meaning cooked or baked twice) conjured up too many images of the dried rusks eaten on ships for people to believe the lengthy baking process would result in such a “bella figura”.

In Prato, however, the rediscovery of this recipe in the 18th century fell on fruitful ground – biscotti quickly became a popular export, and were soon copied and modified in other regions.

Today, the internet is home to no fewer than 115 different biscotti recipes, which vary through the addition of a host of ingredients, such as star anise, cinnamon, figs, chocolate, and even amaretto.

We prefer the traditional recipe for biscotti di Prato, which is as uncomplicated and straightforward as all other Tuscan specialities. To make biscotti, simply mix almonds, flour, sugar, salt, eggs, baking powder, a little milk – e basta!


Text: Thomas Held

A recipe for biscotti can be found here.