How to make panforte, Italy’s medieval-era fruitcake with a peppery kick

Dec 09, 2019 590

Christmas in Tuscany would not be complete without a slice of panforte — the peppery, dried fruit and nut-based spice cake born in the central Tuscan hill town of Siena in the Middle Ages — served with a glass of vin santo, a sweet Italian dessert wine.

Several legendary origin stories surround panforte. Some culinary historians believe it was inspired by lokum, aka Turkish delight, the ancient date- and nut-based confection popular in different forms in several Middle Eastern countries to this day, brought back to Tuscany by medieval-era crusaders. 

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