Thursday 21 April 2022


Brigidino di Lamporecchio has been added to the National List of Traditional Agri-food Products (PAT) of Tuscany. It was first included in 2002, but with the revision of its description file, it has now been consolidated as one of the 464 typical products that bear witness to the gastronomic history of Tuscan food, crystallising the name of the product and its identity card.

The shutdown imposed by the pandemic crisis was an opportunity to reflect on how to initiate the process of increasing the prestige of this traditional product, the authentic king of every fair or festival. Thus, at the beginning of summer 2021, the Municipality of Lamporecchio, in collaboration with producers, trade associations, and master artisan ‘Brigidinai’, launched the process of approving an updated version of the PAT card with the Region of Tuscany.

 

This has meant not only fine-tuning the Brigidino recipe but above all addressing the increased production volumes of this fragile and aromatic waffle, which over the years has earned its place on markets, including those abroad.

Thanks to the work undertaken by the producers and the artisan ‘Brigidinai’, a revised version of the card has been drafted which gives an account of the product’s name and history, and also includes the original recipe, uniquely identifying the true and inimitable Brigidino di Lamporecchio.

By the end of the year, the Region of Tuscany issued a decree updating the description of the Brigidino di Lamporecchio and sent it to the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policy to be published in the National List of Traditional Food Products, thereby confirming full recognition of a product which, thanks to the dedication of local producers, has found increasing appreciation even beyond the events attended by the ‘Brigidinai’ and their characteristic ‘carousel’ from which the freshly cooked Brigidino falls.

 

The Brigidino of Lamporecchio

It is a round waffle, approximately 7 cm in diameter, in a thin crust curled at the edges.

Orange-yellow in colour, with an aniseed flavour and a very crispy, crunchy texture. It is packaged in special high and narrow transparent bags, closed with a string. Brigidino can also be packaged in cardboard boxes or paper bags.

Preparation

By machine, with the so-called ‘carousel’, which is a special system that rotates during baking, equipped with a funnel-shaped hopper and a measuring device. The dough is made of type ‘0’ or ’00’ flour, eggs, aniseed flavouring (in the past, seeds were used), and sugar.

The batter is loaded into the ‘carousel’ and the dispenser drops a small amount of mixture onto the lower plate, enough to form the waffle. When the upper plate is lowered, the ‘carousel’ starts to turn for about 60 seconds at a temperature of 200 degrees centigrade. At the end of the spin (and therefore of the cooking process), the top plate rises, leaving the crushed waffle.

The Brigidino is then removed from the plate with the aid of a spatula. It is cooled and then packed in a bag for sale.

The handmade Brigidino: the dough has the same ingredients. A small cube is formed on a wooden table and cut into many bite-sized chunks, which are then spread out on a hot tongs plate or a preheated plate. Once on the hearth, the tongs are turned after 50 seconds.

 

Brigidino history

The product owes its uniqueness to the specific combination of ingredients, the special taste, and, ultimately, the original production technique, which accounts for the traditional appearance of the Brigidino making it a truly distinctive product.

The traditional handmade process obviously resulted in a less regular-shaped product. The origins of its production date back to the Renaissance period. Legend has it that the nuns of a convent accidentally invented the Brigidino.

It all started with a mistake made by Sister Bridget, who got confused while she was preparing the Eucharist wafer mixture. To avoid wasting the dough, the sisters decided to improve its taste by adding aniseed grains.

And thus the ”special twist” was born, destined to become a Lamporecchio tradition, where the recipe has been handed down from generation to generation, spawning many artisan shops specializing in Brigidino.

Production

With the exception of street vendors, there are a limited number of production facilities in Lamporecchio that produce these waffles with traditional ingredients, yielding an average of 223 tonnes per year.

Production could be higher, especially in relation to the foreign market, but the difficulties of transport due to the high friability of this product cannot be ignored. The Brigidino is served at the many village festivals held in Tuscany (or even outside the region), thanks to street vendors, known as ‘Brigidinai’, who produce them directly on-site using the ‘carousel’: the quantity produced on these occasions cannot be estimated. Brigidino di Lamporecchio is sold throughout Tuscany. It is also possible to find it on the foreign market, although it is not widely distributed.


Brigidini di Lamporecchio

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