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Serpentone di Fara Filiorum Petri

Fara Filiorum Petri Serpentone

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"Serpentone”  (known  as  “lu  serpendone”  in local dialect) is a sweet pastry speciality of Fara  Filiorum  Petri  and  was  traditionally prepared  when  pig-slaughtering  time came  round,  as  blood  sausage  wasused in the filling.

It is now always prepared for the feast  day  of  St  Anthony  Abbot  on  17  January.  On  the evening of 16 January, Fara (a name of clear Lombard origins)  prepares  the  famous  “farchie”,  giant  bundles  of  reeds prepared by the various districts of the town for bonfires that burn all night to commemorate the saint’s miraculous protection of the town from the 1799 French siege. The name “serpentone” derives from the pastry’s typical shape, resembling a coiled snake.

There are two varieties of this pastry. The first is light coloured and coated with icing made from egg white and sugar, while the second is dark and coated with chocolate. However, the same ingredients are used for both versions: eggs, flour, extra virgin olive oil, white wine and sugar for the pastry, which is no longer filled with blood sausage, but with grape jam, chocolate, walnuts, almonds, cooked must, citrus peel and natural flavourings. 
The recipe requires a short pastry base to be prepared and the ingredients for the filling are mixed separately; the short pastry is then rolled out and covered with a layer of filling, rolled and shaped like a snake, then oven baked.
It will keep for several days without losing its fragrance. When sliced the cake can be seen to have an exterior of very soft short pastry, with a soft, highly fragrant filling.
The fact that the “serpentone” is a pastry linked to the traditional feast of St Anthony, which is very ancient indeed, proves that it is an extremely historic recipe, deeply rooted in the territory’s traditions and culture. 

L.T. 05-02-2021

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