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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Traditional style panforte
Place of originItaly
Region or stateTuscany
Main ingredientsNuts, honey, sugar, fruits, spices

Panforte is a chewy Italian dessert containing fruit and nuts. It is similar to a Florentine but is much thicker and is a little like a lebkuchen. Known throughout Italy, it is an Italian Christmas tradition associated especially with the province of Siena.[1]



Panforte dates back to at least the 13th century, in the Italian region of Tuscany. Documents from 1205, conserved in the State Archive of Siena, attest that bread flavored with pepper and honey (panes melati et pepati) was paid to the local monks and nuns of the monastery of Montecellesi (modern Monte Celso, near Fontebecci) as a tax or tithe which was due on 7 February that year.[2][3][4]

Literally, panforte means 'strong bread', derived from the Latin fortis,[5] which refers to the spicy flavour. Originally, the Sienese called it panpepato ('peppered bread'), due to the strong pepper used. The original dessert was composed of wheat flour, honey, spices, dried figs, jam and pine nuts and was flavored with pepper.[6]



The process of making panforte is fairly simple. Sugar is dissolved in honey and various nuts, fruits and spices are mixed together with flour and baked in a shallow pan. The finished disc is dusted with icing sugar. Commercially produced panforte often have a band of rice paper around the edge.

Many shops in Italy produce panforte, each recipe being their own jealously guarded interpretation of the original confection and packaged in distinctive wrapping. Usually, a small wedge is served with coffee or a dessert wine after a meal, although some enjoy it with their coffee at breakfast.

In Siena—which is regarded by many, if not most inhabitants of that city, as the panforte capital of Italy—it is sometimes said that panforte should properly contain seventeen different ingredients, seventeen being the number of Contrade (wards) within the city walls.

Protected geographical indication


In 2013, panforte received the protected geographical indication (PGI) status.[7]

See also



  1. ^ "Panforte". epicurious.
  2. ^ "Storia - History (Fiore di Siena)" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  3. ^ "I dolci senesi tra storia e leggenda" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  4. ^ Atti, volumi 1-2. Accademia dei fisiocritici in Siena. Sezione agraria. 1933.
  5. ^ "I dolci più antichi: Panforte e Panpepato". Archived from the original on 2023-01-02. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  6. ^ "Panforte e panpepato: i dolci più antichi". Archived from the original on 2023-01-02. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  7. ^ "Agriculture and Rural Development". Retrieved 2019-01-05.