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pepper biscuits

Made with flour, molasses and pepper (and sometimes almonds) and sold in spice shops since the 1400s, these typical Venetian biscuits show off pepper—one of the ingredients the Serenissima's merchants were able to bring home.

The somewhat surprising use of black pepper in a number of Italian cakes and biscuits (such as Siena's panforte) recall the recommendations of the medieval authority St Hildergard, who recommended a sprinkle of pepper on bread to combat melancholy.

Also spelled pevarins.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: crumpetsandco.