The city of Prato will be coated in sugar from December 13-15 when the winter edition eatPRATO festival returns with a focus on the city’s world-famous. Over 60 bakeries, a record number, with their artisanal pastry chefs and master chocolatiers will come together to host special events to showcase the town’s traditional sweets.
The EatPrato Winter 2019 Dessert Festival will kick off on Friday, December 13, when renowned pastry chef Paolo Sacchetti will present his new cake recipe called ” 3 Torte” dellaToscana. The public is invited to watch him make it and taste the new dessert at his shop Nuovo Mondo, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 23 Prato starting at 6 pm.
The weekend will include tastings of Prato delicacies such as pan di ramerino (raisin bread with a touch of rosemary), and of course, the almond-studded biscotti di Prato, often miscalled cantucci. Traditional Christmas treats will also be found for the very first time. To emphasize Prato is not only known for their sweets, Prato IGP mortadella will also be presented, along with Carmignano wines and Vermouth Bianco di Prato for cocktail hour.
A free breadmaking workshop, the eatPrato Winter Lab, will take place at 3 pm on Saturday, December 14 in the courtyard of Palazzo Pretorio (reservations required at email@example.com). The spotlight will be on the bozza pratese. Commonly known by bakers as “Baco,” it is a narrow, long, rectangular piece of dough which is then cut before the leavening process and to become, when baked, a bozza (singular), or bozze (plural). What is the “Bozza di Prato”? It is a bland rectangular bread, which is dark brown in color and has a white flour topping, perfect to accompany cold meats, or used in dishes such as “pappa al pomodoro,” soups, or bruschetta. The bread has a light acidy taste. curious detail about the way in which each “baco” is cut, is that each baker had his own signature way of cutting it, so each baker’s work is recognizable. The name “Bozza” comes from the way it is “abbozzato” which is a sort of rough draft, each piece does not have a specific measurement or weight.
On Saturday, December 14, a special event will take place at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo of Prato Cathedral Museum at 4 pm. A guided visit of the Duomo, including the Lippi frescoes, and the art in the museum will be followed by tea served with a selection of Prato desserts at a cost of €10; reservations can be made online.
The program on Sunday, December 15 begins with special pastry and coffee/cappucino breakfasts at Prato best pastry shops: Glacier Cafè by Faccendi, I Frari delle Logge, Pasticceria Guastini, Pasticceria La Gioconda, Pasticceria Machiavelli, Pasticceria Mannori (featuring the award-winning cakes of the famous pastry chef Luca Mannori), Pasticceria Nuovo Mondo, Pasticceria Peruzzi, Pasticceria Praline and Pasticceria Vella Cafè. Guests pay for what they order.
“Table Cake” is the name of a free event on December 15; starting at 5:30 pm, pastry chef and chocolate master Francesco Faccendi will present his latest sweet creation “Il Chicco di Prato,” with free tastings in his new store called Tablecloths.it, located on via Benedetto Cairoli, Prato.
On both days, the public is invited to the “Sweet Prato Party,” featuring a DJ set as well as finger food nestled between layers of puff pastry including quiche fillings and miniature pastries at Palazzo Pretorio from 6 to 11 pm at a cost of €10. For more information, visit the website. (rosanna cirigliano & ana hugues)