These baci di dama from Antica Torroneria Piemontese are a traditional Piemontese cookie with an irresistibly sweet story. Two crisp biscuits made with ground local hazelnuts sandwich a creamy dark chocolate filling, evoking the meaning of their name in Italian: “Lady's kisses.” As the story goes, these little cookies were created in the town of Tortona in 1852 at the request of King Vittorio Emanuele II. The king hoped to win the favor of a local woman with a romantic gesture, and so his baker came up with these sweets, perpetually caught in the middle of a kiss. Did it work? We don’t know, but the result was delicious enough that these cookies are still beloved in the region more than 150 years later.
Piedmontese hazelnuts are so special; they are not only protected by IGP designation, their orchards are actually a UNESCO heritage site! Nocciola Piemontese, as they’re known in Italian, are more flavorful than your average hazelnut, with a rich, complex fragrance. Picked by hand in the grove, they have a hard, compact shell and are slightly smaller than other varieties. Antica Torroneria Piemontese works directly with local hazelnut growers to source the highest quality hazelnuts, which are roasted daily in-house to bring just the right balance of flavors to these sweet truffles.
Antica Torroneria Piemontese began when Giuseppe Sebaste, an apprentice in a pastry shop in Alba, decided to strike out on his own. Unable to afford the expensive almonds that were commonly used to make torrone, he turned to the hazelnuts that grew in abundance on the hillsides in his home in the Piedmont. It was an inspired moment that set the course for a sweet legacy. Today, the fifth-generation family members who run his company are committed to celebrating the precious Piemontese hazelnuts that started it all. Antica Torroneria Piemontese are masters of the confectionery arts with a single-minded dedication to excellence that guides everything they do.