Extra virgin olive oil, mountain flour, honey, pepper, aniseed, cooked must. They are the main ingredients at the base of the Abruzzo pastry art, a tradition based mostly on dry biscuits, which includes specialties such as mostaccioli, pepatelli, ferratelle, but there are also soft and rich cakes, from parrozzo to sweet pizza. In any case, these are simple and rustic desserts, produced with raw materials of the ancient rural tradition and pastoral of the region. The Gambero Rosso pastry chefs and pastry shops of Italy have not yet awarded any laboratory with the Tre Torte (maximum recognition) but we are sure that the best craftsmen will be able to reserve pleasant surprises in the future. Here, we've gathered the most deserving signs, one for each province.
Pasticceria Ferretti dal 1962
Teramo is probably one of the most interesting gastronomic areas, although it's still little known. Outside the city limits, 25 kilometers from Teramo, in the town of Morro d'Oro is Sandro Ferretti, a member of the Italian Master Pastry Masters Academy, is a high representative of Abruzzo confectionery in Italy. His passion is inherited from his parents, then developed through intensive study and constant research. The offer is wide and includes a fine modern bakery, made of contemporary-style pastries that are elegant and balanced, without neglecting the dutiful tribute to tradition, with typical local specialties. Among these, the calgionetti, filled with chestnuts, chickpeas and Montepulciano grape jam, followed by the classic sweet pizza, Nirvana for all gourmands, a series of layers of soft and ethereal sponge cake alternated with silky and dense pastry cream, in the classic or chocolate version. Equally excellent is the creamy layered cakes, mignon pastries with various fillings and pralines. To complete the picture, a good offer of homemade gelato, cakes and aromatic croissants for breakfast. Also present a good section of savory pastries, in line with the general quality.
Pasticceria Ferretti dal 1962 – via Nazionale, 80 Fraz. Pagliare - www.facebook.com/PasticceriaFerretti/
Bubbly and fun Pescara shows off all the best of the Adriatic, with a solid seafood cuisine with unmistakable flavours, but that also dips into flavours of the hinterland. Among the musts in the city is Caprice: over 50 years of history, a new generation at the helm that hasn't disappointed the most loyal customers and a success that seems destined to never end. Today Fabrizio Camplone carries on with love and patience the activity started by his father Tullio, but the fame and quality of the bakery haven't changed. Every day the local Piazza Garibaldi has locals and tourists coming in at all hours, attracted by the quality and variety of the offer. Mignon pastries, pesche with raspberry or cinnamon cream; gelato cakes and semifreddi. On major events, however, the craftsman unleashes his best weapons, delighting with the preparation of monumental pastries. At breakfast, however, we loved the bomboloni, fried to perfection and stuffed with smooth and tasty creams, plus crispy croissants and stuffed sweet rolls. In addition there's the gelato department, among which stand outs are the unusual flavours made with pears and Grana Padano, or Vinsanto and cantucci. A battle horse, however, is the Presentosa, a personal interpretation of the parrozzo that owes its name to the traditional Abruzzese jewel, an ancient pledge of love.
Caprice – Pescara – piazza G. Garibaldi, 29 – www.fabriziocamplone.eu
The gastronomic tradition of L'Aquila has always brought out the value of the extraordinary ingredients of its neighboring villages, but never shined for its confectionery art. Yet, this portion of land that over the years has been able to demonstrate a unique and unstoppable tenacity, has much to offer even in this department. This was confirmed by the Di Masso family's bakery, a historic point of reference in the village of Scanno, which right at the entrance of the village has always welcomed Abruzzo locals and tourists with its creations. The name is not chosen randomly: the absolute protagonist of the place is the Pan dell'Orso, a fragrant mix of honey and almonds covered in chocolate, Angelo's trademark, now famous throughout Italy. And then shortbread with grape "scrucchiata" - Abruzzese jam par excellence - mignon pastries and gourmet portions (a must, when it's the season, is the tartlet filled with figs and almonds). In the morning, the artisan proves to be a skilled baker of flaky brioches that are fragrant and balanced in the fillings. For just under a year now, there are also focaccias, pizzas and breads made with flours of ancient Abruzzo grains and seasoned with the best ingredients of the area.
Pan dell'Orso – Scanno (AQ) – viale del Lago, 20 – www.dimassoscanno.net
That stretch of jagged coastline that stretches from Ortona to Vasto brings to mind fresh and tasty seafood dishes, starting with the famous brodetto, a fish soup that has its roots in the oldest local seafaring tradition. If the Chieti city dining scene still has a ways to grow, that of the coast boasts a series of respectable restaurants. But you have to travel 75 kilometers to reach the best bakery in the Chieti province. The journey, however, will be worth the creations of the excellent workmanship of Sebastiano Radoccia, a craftsman who brought his venue to the top of regional confectionery. For a year now, there is also Lorenzo Puca in force at the laboratory, Italian Pastry Senior Champion at the 2018 Sigep. A victory he won thanks to the cake that is now one of the symbols of the Vasto address: The Desiderio, a creamy multi-layer cake with dark chocolate mousse, soft heart of almonds and vanilla, sponge base with fondant and nut brittle and mandarin jelly. All covered with caramel icing. But the other sweets are not less, from lobster tails to mini chocolate cups, as well as a good selection of breakfast pastries.
Pannamore – Vasto (CH) – via Maddalena, 71 b – www.pannamore.it
by Michela Becchi