Fresh pastries and bakery, biscuit, confectionary and pastry products;
1. Product name:
Zuccherino di Vernio
2. Other names:
3. Short description:
Zuccherini di Vernio are dry, sweet biscuits shaped like doughnuts. They are white-coloured because they are dipped in sugar after baking and smell and taste like aniseed. They are made all year round.
4. Production area:
Vernio, Val di Bisenzio, province of Prato.
5. Production status:
r disappeared r at risk r active
6. Production process:
s Mix flour, egg, butter, sugar, aniseed and leavening agent in a bowl
s Shape the dough into doughnuts by hand
s Bake in the oven
s Melt sugar in a pot
s Dip the biscuits into the melted sugar
7. Materials, equipment and premises used for production:
s Kitchen utensils
s Baking tray
s Wood-fired oven for baking
s Copper pot for melting the sugar and dipping the biscuits
8. Notes on traditionalism, homogeneity of spread and persistence of production rules over time:
The traditional character of zuccherini di Vernio comes from its unique combination of ingredients and by-hand preparation, which has remained unchanged over time and gives the biscuits a unique look. Despite not containing stabilisers, the biscuits last longer than others because they are very dry. In fact, their dry texture means they are usually eaten dipped in vin santo, milk, coffee or wine. In the Valle del Bisenzio, they were made for wedding feasts as the traditional doughnut shape mirrored that of a wedding ring. The unique nature of the melted sugar comes from, according to tradition, the fact that it was melted in a copper pot to get a uniform liquid. Artisan zuccherini are big, but also light, which is proof of a good rise.
Two bakeries in Vernio specialise in making zuccherini. Production varies during the year (it triples during the summer) and can be estimated to be around 5-10 tonnes a year. Sales are made exclusively in the area, directly to individuals, but also to local stores and big wholesalers.