- you are here: Home
- Hidden Treasures
- The Pistoia’s comfits also won Zeffirelli’s heart!
The Pistoia’s comfits also won Zeffirelli’s heart!Did you know that...
The Pistoia’s comfits also won Zeffirelli’s heart!
Pistoia comfits are a real delicacy even if, when you see them, they look a bit funny! They are white and have a very particular shape: the outer layer of sugar consists of something resembling small bumps. For this reason, they are also called ‘riccio’ but people from Pistoia affectionately call them ‘brignoccoluto’, that is lumpy. We must not be frightened by their shape and instead let them slowly melt in the mouth and slowly taste, after the sugar, their soft center. What's inside? The original recipe includes anise or coriander but more creative and equally tasty versions are around: chocolate, coffee, candied fruit and hazelnuts!
To trace their origins, we need to go back to 1300 when they were served in the sweet breakfast offered to nobles, bishops and magistrates on the day of San Jacopo, on July 25. The comfits were produced in a special rotating copper container called ‘bassina’. First, the center was filled, after which sugar melted in water with an alembic was poured drop by drop and then squeezed over. It is precisely this procedure through which the comfits get their typical ‘brignoccoli’.
Luckily, the Corsini workshop-shop is still around and making them just like it used to be: it is located in the central Piazza Mazzini and if you happen to pass by, you must definitely drop by! Not only can you buy the delicious comfits, you will also enter an enchanted world with the flavors of sugar and chocolate.
Do you know that Pistoia’s comfits were also featured in cinema? Requesting them in one of his films was nothing less than Zeffirelli, who used them for a scene in his 1976 ‘Casanova’. The director was in fact looking for curly comfits that, according to his research, were thrown during carnival celebrations. It was another director, Tuscan Mauro Bolognini, who told him about the ones from Pistoia which, on that occasion, were presented in colored guise: light blue, pink and mint green. By the way, since we are on the subject of cinema, how about taking part in our Florence tour in cinema? You will discover many locations of Italian and international films of yesterday and today.
Siena: Ricciarelli: Siena’s sweets hailing from the far East.
Alongside panforte, they are among Siena’s sweets that best represent the city. Just thinking about their orange and vanilla scent, s...View
Florence: Who invented the bistecca alla fiorentina?
The Florentine beefsteak is the undisputed queen of Tuscany’s gastronomy. Including the bone, and strictly cooked in ‘blood’ (i.e...View
Tuscany: Ferdinando Innocenti: the inventor of the Lambretta.
There is no doubt that Tuscany is a land of inventors. Just think of Leonardo da Vinci! Ferdinando Innocenti is also one of them. Do yo...View
Florence: Negroni was born in Florence!
Did you know that...
Now that Mojito and Moscow Mule are all the rage as aperitifs, there are classic cocktails that have stood the test of time and moods. ...View
Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music
In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...View
Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana
It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...View
Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum
Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...View
Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens
It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...View