«This is a sweet, or rather an amusing treat local to Tuscany, where it can be found at all the country fairs and festivals. You can see it being cooked in the open air in waffle irons »
Pellegrino Artusi – Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well
Eggs, sugar, anise and flour are the ingredients of this crunchy sweet with a typical and particular shape, colour and taste. It seems sure that at the origin of this “amusing treat”, according to Pellegrino Artusi’s definition, there are the nuns of saint Brigida, a XIV century Swedish saint who often travelled in Tuscany. The “brigidine” had to prepare the hosts for the communion and, around the half of the sixteeenth century, they invented the recipe of this crunchy anise sweet.
Originally they used two pincers with two pieces of circular iron on the edges where decorative motifs were often engraved: stylized flowers, windmills , suns. After having mixed the ingredients, small quantities of mixture were pressed and cooked between the red-hot plates. The “wafers” had decorative motifs on the two sides. The sweets were then put in wicker baskets covered with waxed paper to be carried and sold.
Over time the tradition of brigidini has been linked especially to the citizens of Lamporecchio who have started to take this sweet to near and faraway fairs and markets, creating a real job which lasts still nowadays. The presence of “brigidino makers” is a tradition in every fair, market or festival, today like in the past, when there were no cars and the horse and the cart were used to go selling them. But the brigidino today is also a product which, for the attention to the raw materials and the production quality, has a good success and a great distribution, in Italy and abroad.