November 22nd, 2006

Fishy Circumstances

S. Martino's Cookie

San Martino cookie San Martino cookie

printperson brought us a San Martino cookie in all its gaudy restraint! The festa di S. Martino occurs on the evening of November 11th. Kids, in Italy at least, dress up and go from store to store, begging for treats. In honor of the occasion, bakeries make these elaborate cookies. (At least, they do in Venice. I don' t know quite how widespread this particular cookie-type is.) Many, like this one, are shortbread. Chocolate-dipped cookies are apparently the big trend this year. Other shops do full-fledged three-dimensional San Martinos, all edible. Apparently, this particular cookie is one of the most restrained in its decorative ornamentation.

It's not necessarily obvious at first what this cookie is an image of - it's a man on horseback, with a bit of ground underneath the horse's hooves. The man is St. Martin (San Martino) who, when he encountered an half-clothed beggar at Amiens' city gates, gave him half of his cloak to keep him clothed and warm.