As with so many of Italy's best foods, Amaretti di Mombaruzzo can seem suspiciously simple when written down. But using just four local ingredients – almonds, apricot kernels, eggs and sugar – Antica Amaretteria create macaroon perfection. Golden and delicately crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside and exquisitely balanced in flavour throughout. What really sets Antica Amaretteria apart is their ability to be both faithful to the past and forward looking. While the business is rooted in tradition, they're progressive in their craft, not afraid to bring us such joyous modern creations as hazelnut, chocolate and lemon amaretti. But the basic principles stay the same: using the finest ingredients and showing off their quality and flavour. Made without flour, flavourings or preservatives, Antica Amaretteria's macaroons are always gluten free.
Amaretti are made all across Italy, from Sicily to Lombardy. Some versions are dry (secchi), like the ones we typically get here in the UK, while others are soft-centred (morbidi) like those from Antica Amaretteria. While we travel all over Italy to bring you the best tastes of our country, we can't deny a soft spot for the rolling green hills of Piedmont – where Sacla' was founded all those years ago. Amaretti di Mombaruzzo are Piedmont's very own macaroon, their distinctive flavour coming from the combination of sweet almonds and blanched apricot kernels, which gives a softer, more fragrant intensity than bitter almonds.The special quality of Amaretti di Mombaruzzo lies not just in the ingredients, but also how they're baked. This is where the artisan craft of Antica Amaretteria is so important. Baked too hot and the macaroons take on too much colour and crunch. Baked too long and they dry out, losing their soft, airy centres. But baked with skill and dedication, these macaroons bring a reverie of almondy perfection with every bite.
Antica Amaretteria make their macaroons by hand in their small bakery in Incisa Scapaccino, just outside Asti city. The business has its roots in the famous Moriondo brand, which dates back to the 1930s. Founded in Mombaruzzo, Moriondo spread the unique pleasures of Piedmontese macaroons far and wide. Massimiliano and Luigi took over the brand's historic bakery and are re-establishing the importance of amaretti morbodi to a world hooked on Jaffa Cakes and Oreos. The company follows the same steps to make their amaretti as would a Piedmontese baker 100 years ago. The almonds and apricot kernels are crushed through rollers to create a soft, deliciously fragrant dough. The judgment of the artisan baker is crucial here, deciding just how fine or coarse the mixture should be. Once the eggs whites and the sugar are folded in, the dough is worked, cut and rolled by hand, then carefully baked. Antica Amaretteria bake every day, sealing their macaroons individually to ensure the taste, texture and unique fragrance is captured at its best every time.