Ricciarelli di Siena IGP

The origins of Ricciarelli di Siena are linked to those of marzapane, a sweet based on almonds and sugar and whose arrival in Siena dates back to the 15th century.
Starting from 1400, local chronicles mention the presence of Marzapani and Marzapanetti all’usanza senese (in the Sienese way) on the tables of the most sumptuous banquets in Italy. The term “marzapane” was used for almond paste made into soft cakes; “marzapanetti” were, instead, square-shaped biscuits made from marzapane.
Destined for an “elite public”, considering the presence of sugar which was at the time a rare and expensive ingredient, the sweets were sold in the Sienese apothecary shops, the pharmacies of the time.
The fame of marzapani and marzapanetti production already in the 1400’s is confirmed by the work of the Florentine priest Arlotto Mainardi (known as Piovano Arlotto) who wrote about the principal qualities of some Italian cities: “…in Milan they do much haberdashery and armour, in Florence the fabric is good, in Bologna there are sausages, in Siena marzapani and berricuocoli”. There are many references to banquets for weddings or political visits during the Renaissance period in which marzapani are mentioned. Among these, the marriage of Caterina di Sforza to Giordano Rioro in Milan in 1447 when “marzapani in the Sienese way” were served; there is mention among the purchases of an apothecary in 1477 in Florence of “marzapane cake as used in Siena”; when Charles V visited Siena in 1536 he was given one hundred marzapani.
Also from 17th century documents regarding administrative activities of the University of Siena it is possible to note the habit of offering the rector of the university “two marzapani and flasks of wine” as a gift upon receiving one’s degree. From 1800, the marzapanetti (modified from rectangular to lozenge shapes) were called Ricciarelli, as they are now known. An initial reference to the term “Ricciarello” can be found in a list of Tuscan sweets published in the “Ditirambo di S.B. in onore del Caffè e dello Zucchero” (Eulogy of S.B. in honour of coffee and sugar) printed in Livorno (Leghorn) in 1814.
In 1891 the first edition of the essential volume “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene” (Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well) by Pellegrino Artusi was published and was the first example of a recipe book of the national gastronomic tradition. Recipe no. 692, dedicated to the making of this product, is entitled “Ricciarelli di Siena”.
Marketing the product outside regional circuits began in the early 20th century thanks to the birth of several companies making Ricciarelli which are still active today. In addition, growth of the tourist presence in Siena following the Second World War led to an increased request for the product, so much so that in 1950 more than twenty producers of Ricciarelli were located in Siena. The Ricciarello di Siena PGI is obtained by making a basic dough of almonds, sugar and egg whites which is then baked. They are oval-lozenge in shape, the surface is white in colour due to the covering of powdered sugar, there may be some fissures in the paste and the edges are slightly golden. Inside, they are golden beige. The taste and aroma are those typical of almond paste.

Fresh pastries and bakery products, biscuits, pastry and confectioneryProducts DOP e IGP exclusively tuscan
Zona di produzione

La zona di lavorazione e confezionamento dei Ricciarelli di Siena comprende l’intero territorio amministrativo della provincia di Siena.

Consorzio di tutela

C/O Confcommercio Siena
Strada di Cerchiaia, 26
Tel: +39 0577248856
e-mail: segreteria@coripanf.org
web: www.coripanf.org