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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.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
I can't tell what's what in that picture, but I'm jealous, I want one.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
If it has pink frosting and chocolate buttons, it must be good?
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
It's also zany :)
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:31 pm (UTC)
How many other festivals are there that are similar to halloween, and occur around that time of year, I wonder? I always had Halloween and trick-or-treating down as a very American thing, which had spread across to england due to our 51st state mentality, but it's curious to see another culture with children dressing up and begging for sweets. I wonder where it all originated from?
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
I know a few friends (mostly from Yorkshire I think) who used to celebrate mischief night as kids, instead of halloween. I think it is a day earlier and is like trick or treating but with no option of bribing the kids with treats to stop them from playing the tricks. The begging for sweets thing is actually a bit like kids begging for a penny for the guy on bonfire night, I don't see much of that any more but as a kid trick or treating was rare and making a guy was fairly common.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
It's one of those things where as soon as you tell me what it is supposed to be I can see it, and it becomes obviously that in my mind whenever I look at it. Before Iread what the cookie is supposed to be it looked like a rather pretty blob, or maybe a rather pretty pink and spotty monster.
Nov. 23rd, 2006 12:13 am (UTC)
can you get those in London or do you have to be in Italy?
Nov. 23rd, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
Mine came from Italy. I don't know if any Italian bakeries in London make them.
Nov. 26th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
Is that real money on the cookie?
Nov. 29th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC)
It's something that's sometimes better than real money: foil-wrapped chocolate money.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )