In the 16th century, Pitigliano was home to a thriving Jewish community. In fact, the town continues to go by its fascinating nickname, Piccola Gerusalemme or Little Jerusalem.
When harsh Papal bulls forced the city’s Jewish residents into a ghetto, a curfew was introduced. Each day at dusk, the count’s soldiers would knock on every door to remind the residents to stay inside. The batons they used are said to have been the inspiration for these biscuits, a way for the Jewish community to sweeten what was not such a sweet law.
Today, you can stroll through Pitigliano’s flower-filled alleys and tiny streets, where you’ll find what’s left of its Jewish ghetto. It’s now part of a museum on Jewish culture, but there’s also a tiny little bakery that still prepares these delicious sweets.
If Pitigliano’s too far away, you can try your hand at making them at home. They’re a little bit fiddly and time consuming, but the end result is more than worth it!