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Roman sugar bun

Soft, sweet yeast bun, often split open and filled with whipped cream, sometimes enriched with raisins, pine nuts, candied fruit and/or orange peel.

Maritozzi are distinctly Roman—and said to be Rome's only contribution to the world of sweets and pastries. Made since ancient times and named after the Latin word for man or companion (maris), they were originally flavoured with honey and raisins, and were a popular breakfast among workers to keep them going all day.

In the Middle Ages, they were one of the very few sweet things the Church permitted during Lent. In the 19th century they took their current name, meaning 'little husband' (marito), and their phallic shape led to many a double entendre. A post war development saw them split open and filled with cream and dusted with powdered sugar, guaranteeing a mess down the front of almost everyone.

Desserts and pastries


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Bread, Cakes and Ale