Fara Filiorum Petri Serpentone
"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.