Hidden treasures

Pisa’s torta coi bischeri.

Local Traditions
torta con i bischeri

Pisa’s torta coi bischeri.

Torta coi ‘bischeri’ is typical of San Giuliano Terme, in the province of Pisa. Just look at the photo to get an idea of how sweet this traditional dessert is. Surely you are also wondering what bischeri have to do with the cake! I imagine you already know that those a bit simple-minded and naive are called bischeri in Tuscany. If you really want to delve deeper into the topic, you could read the interesting story on the bischeri of Florence where you will discover the origin of this word.

That being said, what do bischeri have to do with a cake? The answer is: no one knows! There are hypotheses and assumptions ranging from philological to goliardic but the only certain thing is that the edges of this cake are called 'bischeri': in fact, they are made in a particular way by arranging the pastry in order to shape them as pointed cones, or beaks! So much so that in the nearby Lucca area, a similar cake is called ‘torta co’ becchi’.

The dough of this cake, similar to shortcrust pastry, has flour, eggs, sugar and butter as ingredients. But what makes it a real treat is its chocolate filling made with cocoa, rice, eggs, pine nuts, raisins, vanilla and a small glass of rum. Really mouth-watering ... and for the ears too!

This delicious sweet was created in Valdiserchio to feed the hundreds of pilgrims who came every year to Pontasserchio for the feast of the SS. Crucifix of Miracles, after which it became the typical dessert of San Giuiano Terme and Vecchiano. Since 2007, ‘torta co’ bischeri’ has become a quality brand with its very strict regulations, so beware of any imitation!

Do you want to discover other Tuscan delicacies, taste them and why not, learn to cook them? Book cooking class and visit to the central market of Florence  and you will learn many things about the raw materials and recipes of this region. Enjoy your cake then!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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