Lucca noble bread


Whoever comes to Lucca and doesn’t eat buccellato can’t say that has been there!
(anonymous Lucca saying)
Along our journey throughout Tuscan flavours, we talked about wine, chestnuts, olive oil, fine and internationally renowned meat, but… do you know what Buccellato is?
I have to admit that I’ve one up on you because my roots come from Lucca also and, even if I’m not a raisins lover, I’ve grown up with wine and buccellato! Actually, the name doesn’t seem to  bring something in particular to minds, and that’s mainly due to the fact that besides being very popular, buccellato is mainly a typical product of Lucca and the places close by, rather than all Italy.
But if you get to visit Lucca, commonly referred to as the city of 100 churches because of the high number of churches situated in the old city centre, there’s no bakery or cake shop that doesn’t sell the typical buccellato.
It is a cake, or better, a sweet bread which looks like a long, Italian ‘filoncino’, although originally it was circular-shaped. In fact, its far off origins date back to the mid of the XV century, when it was expressly made for the local nobles (that’s why it’s usually referred to as a bread nobility). The name comes from buccellae, a Latin word standing for morsel; even the Romans had their own buccellatum (round-shaped bread made up of little, crown-set breads called bucellae), even if bread had not yet become noble at that time!
From the original, circular-shaped bread (which some bakery still makes), buccellato has become long, straight-shaped as time passed by, mainly for an easy-carry reason: buccellato used to be a Sunday cake, which people coming back home from the Sunday Mess used to buy and carry under their arms, just like the French used (and still use) to do with their baguette.
Besides being a typical and traditional product of Lucca, there isn’t an official recipe: each one uses the main ingredients to his liking, thus creating lots of traditional, local recipes and succeeding in tickling even the most choosy appetites. And maybe that’s also how the well-known cake shop Taddeucci was born more than one century ago; since then, its name has been standing for buccellato. Even if you may find it in every bakery or cake shop in Lucca, Taddeucci represents the traditional buccellato par excellance.
And now it’s time to tell you how this cake is made up…we can’t speak about traditions and cakes without unveiling the ingredient! Buccellato looks like an italian ‘filoncino‘ (a long, narrow-shaped typical Italian kind of bread), but a little bit shorter and stockier maybe (but, as I wrote you before, the shape depends on the producer’s taste, as well as the recipe); since it is brushed with egg and sugar before being cooked, it usually appears bright brown-coloured. Inside, it’s sweet and soft, full of raisins and aniseed.
I strongly suggest you try this cake in this period because it is usually sliced and eaten  with wine or  vin santo (a typical, Italian sweet wine), even if the ‘Lucchesi’ (people from Lucca) use to eat it all the year round.
In Tuscany we are used to dip biscuits like cantuccini di Prato or cakes like buccellato into a glass of wine…Actually I don’t know if it is a common habit (definitely it isn’t a good manners example), but I can assure you there’s no better occasion than this for tasting the new wine!

Whoever comes to Lucca and doesn’t eat buccellato can’t say that has been there!(anonymous Lucca saying)
Along our journey throughout Tuscan flavours, we talked about wine, chestnuts, olive oil, fine and internationally renowned meat, but… do you know what Buccellato is?
I have to admit that I’ve one up on you because my roots come from Lucca also and, even if I’m not a raisins lover, I’ve grown up with wine and buccellato! Actually, the name doesn’t seem to  bring something in particular to minds, and that’s mainly due to the fact that besides being very popular, buccellato is mainly a typical product of Lucca and the places close by, rather than all Italy.But if you get to visit Lucca, commonly referred to as ‘the city of 100 churches’ because of the high number of churches situated in the old city centre, there’s no bakery or cake shop that doesn’t sell the typical buccellato.
It is a cake, or better, a sweet bread which looks like a long, Italian ‘filoncino’, although originally it was circular-shaped. In fact, its far off origins date back to the mid of the XV century, when it was expressly made for the local nobles (that’s why it’s usually referred to as ‘a bread nobility’). The name comes from ‘buccellae’, a Latin word standing for ‘morsel’; even the Romans had their own ‘buccellatum’ (round-shaped bread made up of little, crown-set breads called ‘bucellae’), even if bread had not yet become noble at that time!
From the original, circular-shaped bread (which some bakery still makes), buccellato has become long, straight-shaped as time passed by, mainly for an easy-carry reason: buccellato used to be a Sunday cake, which people coming back home from the Sunday Mess used to buy and carry under their arms, just like the French used (and still use) to do with their baguette.Besides being a typical and traditional product of Lucca, there isn’t an official recipe: each one uses the main ingredients to his liking, thus creating lots of traditional, local recipes and succeeding in tickling even the most choosy appetites. And maybe that’s also how the well-known cake shop ‘Taddeucci’ was born more than one century ago; since then, its name has been standing for ‘buccellato’. Even if you may find it in every bakery or cake shop in Lucca, Taddeucci represents the traditional buccellato par excellance.
And now it’s time to tell you how this cake is made up…we can’t speak about traditions and cakes without unveiling the ingredient! Buccellato looks like an italian ‘filoncino’ (a long, narrow-shaped typical Italian kind of bread), but a little bit shorter and stockier maybe (but, as I wrote you before, the shape depends on the producer’s taste, as well as the recipe); since it is brushed with egg and sugar before being cooked, it usually appears bright brown-coloured. Inside, it’s sweet and soft, full of raisins and aniseed.
I strongly suggest you try this cake in this period because it is usually sliced and eaten  with wine or  ’vin santo’ (a typical, Italian sweet wine), even if the ‘Lucchesi’ (people from Lucca) use to eat it all the year round.
In Tuscany we are used to dip biscuits like cantuccini di Prato or cakes like buccellato into a glass of wine…Actually I don’t know if it is a common habit (definitely it isn’t a good manners example), but I can assure you there’s no better occasion than this for tasting the new wine!

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