About Me

Dec 29, 2012

The traditional Roman Pangiallo.

The pangiallo romano is a typical Roman cake (pangiallo means yellow bread) already known in the ancient Rome.
It was prepared during the celebration of winter solstice to invoke the return of the Sun (that's why yellow). Obtained through a mix of dried fruit, honey and candied citron. It was customary in the past to use dried kernels of apricots and plums instead of the most expensive almonds and hazelnuts. In modern versions you might have also almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, raisins, pistachios or chocolate (which couldn’t have been added until the 1500s’).  Younger generations may have never tried this specialty.  It's still made in Rome's Jewish Ghetto and in some traditional delis.  Unfortunately industrially produced Panettone or Pandoro are more often seen on Christmas tables.

Dec 26, 2012

Tombola: the most traditional Christmas game.

Tombola was born in Naples in 1734.
Father Gregorio Maria Rocco wanted king Charles III to abolish Lotto, the very popular public lottery. The king preferred to keep it in order to have public control over gambling:  without a public lottery illegal gambling would prosper.
In the end Lotto was kept but suspended during religious festivities, so people started playing tombola at Christmas.
Now it is the most traditional Christmas game all over Italy.