A speciality of Northern Italy, are a type of pastry biscuit made of sugar, apricot kernels or almonds, and egg white with a rough surface and the typical smell of bitter almonds. Amaretti can be either “hard” or “soft.”
The best-known Amaretti are the soft type, from Sassello in Liguria. The mixture used to make these Amaretti is so unique that it requires an entirely manual process. Once this process is complete, the Amaretti are packaged as soon as they come out of the oven in order to keep the product as fresh and toasty as possible!
All Amaretti are made according to a precise recipe and are recognized by the following: they are dry and dark, with a bitter-sweet flavor, and their surfaces are usually covered in grains of sugar, which are often wrapped in colored paper.
Amaretti have specific defining ingredients, production processes, and labelling prerequisites both for their “dry” and “soft” types, as a part of the “Quality Program” undertaken by the Italian Association of Confectionery Industries. The goal of these prerequisites is to preserve, safeguard and promote only the most quality centuries-old biscuits and cake recipes.
Amaretti are best at the end of a meal, thanks to their bitter sweet taste, served with a demitasse of strong Italian espresso.
They are also used to decorate confectioner’s custard, syllabubs or coffee cream. They are also used to decorate cakes and other desserts.