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sweet 'little flowers'

Made exclusive by the eight cloistered nuns in the Monastero dell'Ordine Agostiniano di Varese Ligure, and often sent to Catholic schools in Italian-American communities in the United States, these sweets in the form of flowers are made according to a secret recipe passed down over the centuries. Known ingredients include almonds, sugar and egg whites, and alchermes, cocoa and greens to make the colours of the flowers. Compare them to Palermo's frutta della martorana, which was also originally made by nuns.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

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