Fresh pastries and bakery, biscuit, confectionary and pastry products;
1. Product name:
2. Other names:
3. Short product description:
Mantovana is a round and soft tart that’s easy to make and simple, but delicious.
4. Production area:
Spread throughout Tuscany, particularly in the province of Prato.
5. Production status:
r disappeared r at risk r active
6. Production process:
Torta mantovana is a tart made with egg, flour, sugar, butter, lemon zest or orange essence and almonds. In some places, pine nuts are used instead of almonds. To prepare it, eggs are beaten with sugar until foamy. Flour is gradually added then butter and orange essence or lemon zest. It’s mixed well with a wooden spoon and poured into a buttered and floured tray to a height of about a finger. Peeled and chopped almonds are scattered to completely cover the filling. The tart is baked in a moderate oven for 50 minutes and when cooled, dusted with icing sugar.
7. Materials, equipment and premises used for production:
– Kitchen utensils
8. Notes on traditionalism, homogeneity of spread and persistence of production rules over time:
Despite its name (although it wouldn’t be a surprise if it did truly originate from Mantova considering that its duke did, for a certain time, rule upper Versilia), this is a traditional and very old dessert that’s simple to prepare, but delicious, and is spread throughout the entire region.
Local folklore tells of a famous Prato pastry chef who inherited the recipe in the 19th century from two Mantova nuns in exchange for his hospitality. This industrious man used it to increase his notability and status among his customers. The illustrious Pellegrino Artusi also mentioned the recipe in his book, La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Fine dining).
It’s made in various bakeries throughout the region, above all, in the province of Prato. Production quantities are impossible to estimate.