Explore Deliciously Carved Art Hidden Away in Calabria’s Hillsides


Discover these ornately shaped delicacies.

The following post, written by Jerry Finzi, appears on Grand Voyage Italy.

The ancient town of of Soriano Calabro sits between the hills of Calabria and is known for the hard, spiced and artistically carved biscuits known as Mostaccioli (also, Mastazzola, Mustazzoli). They are traditionally made using grape must.

These ornately decorated and shaped treats are popular for festivals, weddings, Christmas and Easter. The more traditional shapes include a parma (the palm), u panaru (the basket), a grasta (the heart), u pisci spada (the swordfish), and a sirena (the siren). Aside from the myriad of shapes, they are decorated with colored foil and some might even have been created using different colors of dough. These are not molded but cut and assembled by hand.


Picture

You can still see Mastazzolari (vendors) selling plastic wrapped Mostaccioli from their wooden trunks at sagre in the region, with parents buying ones shaped like a horse or bird for their children, or the devoted purchasing one shaped like a saint, angel, fish or basket as an offering on a saint’s day. A heart shaped one might be given on a wedding, engagement or on San Valentino’s day.

Explore this coveted delicacy, and the Italians behind it:

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Creating Mostaccioli

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Mastazzolari and How They Sell Their Wares

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Share your favorite recipe, and we may feature it on our website.

Join the conversation, and share recipes, travel tips and stories.