Coquinaria

Pastry Notes :: “Bocconotti di Castelfrentano” A bit of Heaven


To put it bluntly, I don’t like cakes, sweets, pastries and so forth. If I needed a treat, I’d rather go for a slice of pizza, some “pane bruschettato” or some focaccia. But. (There’s always a “but” in a categorical statement as the one above).
I didn’t like sweets much until someone (may he be blessed a thousand times) introduced me to a pastry tart called bocconotto.

dd DSC_4965_bocconotto ©MateldaCodagnone

Classic Bocconotto di Castelfrentano – Plate: Abruzzo Creativo
photo: ©MateldaCodagnone; food styling: Orsola Ciriello Kogan

The name itself recalls a single morsel (“boccone”) of sheer delight. This tiny tart – no bigger than a mouthful – is typical of the Frentania, the area between the Sangro and Biferno rivers, but it is popular throughout the Abruzzo region. The village of Castelfrentano (Chieti) is the proud birthplace of bocconotto (or “castellino”) where almost every family has its own recipe for it – and, needless to say, each family says their bocconotto is the best you can have on Earth.

Basically, the bocconotto is a pastry tart filled with a mixture of dark chocolate, ground and toasted almonds, eggs and cinnamon plus some “secret” ingredients that any confectioners will never reveal, not even over their dead bodies.

The size of the bocconotto is “the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?

There’s no evidence that Oscar Wilde tried a “bocconotto”, but his words fit perfectly both for the cigarette and the tiny pastry. What more can one want? Maybe a second one, to be enjoyed after a sumptuous fish-based dinner on a trabocco. Want to know more about? Stay tuned. Some time soon I’ll take you on a trabocco.

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