Biscotti di Novara are small biscuits created by monks in the 16th century. Like ladyfingers, they’re made with just three ingredients, flour, fresh eggs and sugar, without added fats or oils (they’ve inspired the pavesino, a kind of industrial clone). It’s a pale white, mini ladyfinger that’s extremely light and crumbly, but also stiff and crispy because after cooking they’re dried (that’s where the name ‘biscotto’ comes from, it means ‘twice-cooked’). This is one of the ways in which they’re different from lady fingers. Camporelli, a benchmark for this local speciality, was founded way back in 1852 and continues to draw on the traditional recipe, using wax paper to bake their biscuits, and perfecting it according to modern principles of food production. It’s a single product that’s offered in a number of different ways, from single portions (wrapped in twos) to 500 gram bags, cardboard boxes, as a souvenir of ‘Historic Novara’ and in traditional tins.

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