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dense chocolatey Christmas cake

Ferrara is especially proud of its pampapato (or panpapato), made in the Renaissance court of its ruling family, the Este, when Ferrara was part of the Papal States (the name was originally 'pan del Papa', and its shape is reminiscent of a Cardinal's skull cap—similar to the Florentine zuccotto).

Along with chocolate, the cake traditionally includes almonds, honey, candied fruit, cinnamon, cloves and honey. With its dense, dark texture it resembles the similar sounding but slightly different pampepato of Terni and Rieti, and the panforte of Siena.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by prolocoferrara