The Maritozzo: Bread of the Romans
If you’ve already been to Rome and you’ve never heard of Maritozzo, you missed out on the true essence of Roman life. Wondering now what a Maritozzo is? The answer is as simple as its ingredients and all encompassing as its usage.
The Maritozzo can be breakfast, dessert, and late snack: all in one. It’s the daily bread of the Romans since preindustrial times whereby preindustrial has to be understood with a very broad scope that goes very far back in time.
The Maritozzo was already common among the Ancient Romans. Historical sources mention that women would prepare for their husbands soft buns, sweetened with honey and studded with raisins. The dough was made with flower, eggs and butter. The recipe hasn’t changed much since then if we don’t consider the whipped cream filling.
The namesake of the Maritozzo is linked to a later tradition. Young men would present it to their loved damsel on the first Friday of March. The gift would conceal a surprise, an engagement ring or a golden jewel. It was a proposal. If the lady said “yes”, the young suitor would become her husband. Thus the name “marittozzo” is derived from the word “marito” (“husband”). Maritozzo was initially a pet name for the aspiring husband.
Nowadays, Romans enjoy have this snack for breakfast before work, and for a late afternoon or a midnight bite for a good rest with sweet dreams.
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