The festive season is here, and with that it’s a time to revisit family traditions, ones that have been carried through the generations, across young and old.
A recent visit by Pia Gava, dropping off stock of her latest cookbook, Pia’s Table, along with a batch of her delicious homemade almond biscuits, made us think of the traditions our family hold dear.
A Vitellone Christmas Tradition
For the Vitellone family, Christmas brings family together. Director, Mario and his older sister, Anna, each year make Biscotti con Mandorle (almond biscuits) according to their great-grandmother’s original recipe. This tradition carries on and the two see this occasion as remembering family, both here in Australia and in Italy. It’s an event where they speak of their youth watching their mother and grandmother make Christmas biscotti and how proud they would feel that the tradition remains a part of their families life in Australia.
The best thing about the Biscotti con Mandorle is that they can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee, dipped in a glass of Vin Santo (a Tuscan sweet desert wine) or munched on their own. Just quietly, they’re best dipped in the Vin Santo. The toughest part is stopping at 1 or 2 biscuits.
Introducing Biscotti con Mandorle
- 2 Kilos of Plain Flour
- 700gms of Sugar
- 2 Glasses of Oil
- 12 Eggs
- 1 Sachet of Vanigliato Lievito (Vanilla Yeast)
- 1/2 Kilo of Raw Almonds
- 1 Orange Rind & Juice
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Form several logs and place on a grease-proof tray.
- Cook in the oven at 200°C until golden.
- Allow to cool. With an electric knife, slice the logs into biscuits.
- Place each biscuit on the tray to toast each side under the grill. Make sure each side is toasted evenly.
Such a simple recipe that brings such joy over Christmas. The best thing is you can make them all year round, why not?!
The Vitellone Christmas Message
Wishing our old and new friends a wonderful festive season. We must remember to give and share love, our time and the importance of building new memories. It’s a time to think of loved ones here with us and those no longer, it’s a time to reflect and to be grateful.
Buon Natale from our family to yours. Oh, and happy biscotti-making.