Biscotti, What Are They? The Italian Cookie with a Story to Tell


Biscotti, What are they? Hi, I’m Bruno, the owner and founder of The Biscotti Company, a wholesale bakery. Today, I want to share a little bit about Italian cookies called Biscotti. Biscotti, also known as cantuccini or mandelbrot (Mandel bread), are traditional Italian cookies with a long history and rich cultural significance.

Biscotti Meaning

The word “biscotti” is derived from the Latin word “bis,” meaning “twice,” and “coctus,” meaning “cooked,” referring to the fact that the dough is baked twice to create a hard, dry texture.


Biscotti History

Biscotti has its origins in ancient Rome, where soldiers enjoyed them as a hardtack-like food that could be easily transported and stored. The cookies were made with a simple mixture of flour, water, and sometimes nuts or honey.

As the Roman Empire spread, the recipe for biscotti traveled to different parts of Europe and was adapted by local bakers. In medieval Italy, a variation of biscotti known as cantuccini was created in the Tuscan town of Prato. This version of biscotti was made with almonds and was typically enjoyed with a sweet dessert wine like vin santo.

Over time, Biscotti has evolved, and various recipes and variations have been created by adding different flavors, such as chocolate, hazelnuts, pistachios, and dried fruits.

As time went on, Biscotti continued to evolve and diversify. For example, in the 19th century, the creation of mandelbrot by Jewish bakers in Italy. They put a spin on the traditional recipe by incorporating ingredients such as oil and eggs, making the dough more moist and pliable and could be served as part of the Shabbat dinner. It’s fascinating how a simple cookie recipe can have so much cultural and historical significance.


Mandel Bread

The name Mandelbrot has its roots in Yiddish, specifically in the word “mandlbroyt” which translates to “almond bread.” It’s a fitting name, as the cookie commonly includes almonds as the main ingredient.

As the 20th century progressed, Biscotti started to become increasingly popular in the United States. It was frequently served as an accompaniment for coffee and tea in cafes and coffee shops. Now, this traditional Italian cookie is enjoyed globally and often paired with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

Biscotti Flavors

Through the years, creative bakers have put their spin on the original recipe by incorporating various flavors and ingredients, from chocolate chips and dried fruit to nuts. Today, Biscotti offers a wide array of tasty options for all palates and health restrictions.


In recent years, Biscotti has seen renewed interest not only for its unique flavor profile but also for its nutritional value. Biscotti are now created with almond flour, less sugar, and gluten-free flour. These ingredients make Biscotti a healthier option for those who are conscious about their diet and looking for a satisfying snack that is not too heavy on sugar.

Biscotti and its crunchy cousins

At The Biscotti Company, we continue to evolve and diversify Biscotti, using a traditional 200-year-old recipe and incorporating a wide variety of flavors and ingredients, such as dark chocolate, lemon, dried fruit, and nuts.

As the owner of The Biscotti Company, I am proud to offer traditional Italian biscotti cookies with rich history and cultural significance. With its origins dating back to ancient Rome, it has evolved to include various flavors and ingredients.

Today, biscotti is paired with many beverages, including liquor, and offers a healthier alternative to regular cookies.

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Almond Biscotti


4 thoughts on “Biscotti, What Are They? The Italian Cookie with a Story to Tell

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