ZZAFF! Spampezie

For this month’s installment of ZZAFF! I chose a traditional Christmas recipe. Spampezie biscuits are a typical Christmas treat filled with a mixture of nuts, grated bread, spices, grappa, sugar and honey which are only produced in some Leventina villages. They keep for very long periods and it is said that the families used to send them overseas to their emigrated children. Spampezie are produced only in Faido, Prato, Dalpe, Osco, Chiggiogna or in other municipalities of the lower valley such as Bodio, Personico and Pollegio. Some say that Osco is the homeland of spampezie.
Typically the cookies are pressed into wood shapes that have different shapes. Carved figures recall festivities or represent the coat of arms of a family. The basic preparation method has remained virtually untouched until today: however, everyone has his personal recipe, which is unlikely to be revealed.
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ZZAFF! Polenta Uncia

Polenta uncia, which means greasy, is called so because it is a mixture of polenta, cheese and melted butter. An original dish of the province of Como it is also popular, with small varieties, in the provinces of Lecco, Bergamo and the Ticino Region too. A filling dish, ideal for warm winter evenings.
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ZZAFF! Castagnaccio

Our ZZAFF! season begins with an autumnal recipe which has chestnut as the main ingredient. Chestnut is an ancient plant whose presence in the Ticino Region extends from Mendrisiotto to Leventina. Chestnut has been one of the staple ingredients in ticinese cooking since the Middle Ages, due to its high nutritional value. It’s nutritional value can be preserved for a long time through drying or grounding into flour. Among the different recipe sin which chestnut is used I chose the castagnaccio, a sweet which is typical of Northern Italy but has always been very popular in Ticino too. The ingredients are simple as well as the recipe is.
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