Some days I feel nostalgic for original Italian pastry. This was one of those days, and I decided to bake cansetrelli from the Intavoliamo website. These Italian cookies, typical of the region of Liguria, were included in the list of Traditional Agri-Food Products of the Liguria region (PAT).
The etymology of the name is uncertain, the term probably derives from “canestro” or the wicker container in which the biscuits were cooled.
The first shortcrust pastry canestrelli date back to Ligurian recipes from the early 1200s. Back then, wheat and white flour were luxury goods and it was therefore considered a waste to use them to make a dessert. For this reason, it caused a sensation to know that some wafer producers started producing these strange biscuits, in the shape of a daisy. Given the preciousness of their raw materials, canestrelli became a symbol of abundance.
The first official document with canestrelli as protagonist dates back to 1576 due to an accident that occurred in Val Trebbia. It is a news story during which a mule driver was attacked and robbed of his biscuits; a sign that their value was still very high even in that period.
Over time, as well as in Liguria, canestrelli have spread to Piedmont and Sardinia, with some variations on the original recipe.
Today they are very popular biscuits and are eaten throughout Italy. They are also known abroad, especially in France, Croatia and Switzerland.
Here is my recipe, of course, gluten-free.