Friday, 10 March 2017

Biscotti Traditions



If you have ever been to an Italian-Canadian wedding, baptism, or communion or spent any holiday (ie. Christmas, Easter, etc.) with Italian-Canadians, chances are you have probably experienced "the biscotti."  I emphasize "the biscotti," because biscotti, which is Italian for "cookies," are very much their own event at these occasions.



While planning my wedding, I will have to admit, I just didn't understand the whole biscotti craze.  In fact, I was slightly annoyed by all the the fuss over the planning and selecting of which cookies to make, and secretly longed for the idea of a simple dessert table, a-la-pinterest-style, for my bridal shower.  I even went so far as to tell my mother that I didn't really care for many biscotti at my bridal shower, and perhaps was going to scrap the whole idea of having them (the horror!).  Once my mother got over the shock, she explained to me that whether I wanted to have them or not, people were going to bring them, as it was tradition.  Now, perhaps you are thinking, "why not just tell them to NOT bring them?"  You see, the Italian biscotti tradition at these events works much like a gift offering.  Family and friends bake cookies for their loved ones, and then when it comes time for their own event, those loved ones return the favour.  What's more, each Italian region has their own style of traditional baked goods.  Therefore, part of the pride of presenting these goods involves sharing a part of one's cultural history.



Thus, it wasn't until the day of my bridal shower that I realized just how wrong I was about this tradition, and in fact, just how special it really was.  As guests poured in, so did the multitude of Italian biscotti (I must mention, many other equally wonderful treats were also presented but for the sake of this post, I am concentrating on the traditional baked biscotti). Faces beamed with pride as family and friends showed me their creations that they so lovingly made for my special day.  Once I caught a glimpse of this, I realized why this tradition was so important; these biscotti demonstrated such an outpour of love and care, as well as years of cherished family traditions.  This all in turn, helped to make the occasion that much more special.





Fast forward to my daughter's baptism that we recently celebrated, and I am happy to say that "the biscotti" were once again present.  This time, as I experienced the careful selection of which biscotti to make and the hustle and bustle of getting them ready on time, I felt grateful to see this very special cultural tradition continue as part of my daughter's sacred day.




To find out more about the tradition of Italian biscotti visit my full length article that I wrote for Panoram Italia Magazine.  The page also contains a link to some great Italian biscotti recipes! Enjoy!
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