Inviting, sweet and just the right size so you won’t feel guilty about indulging in at least three… because the truth is that it’s hard to stop at one. These ‘Trieste’s fave’ are exquisite almond-based sweets consumed in our city during this period to commemorate the dead.
Look for three colours: white with a vanilla flavour, pink with essence of rose water, and brown with a cocoa taste. The best ‘Trieste’s fave’ have a very light crunchy crust that hides a soft, tasty and fragrant centre.
According to the historical archives of one of the oldest pastry shops in Trieste, the ‘Trieste’s fave’ have been part of Trieste’s tradition at least since the grand opening of Miramare Castle.
According to the almond season
The consumption of this product is certainly linked to the season of the land: in the Carso’s plateau, the almond tree is a widespread tree and the harvest takes place between October and November. During this period, pantries had to be filled with the new crop and the last reserves of these wonderful nuts had to be consumed within the year of production because the oils present in the almond turn acidic over time.
And it is precisely the ripening of the almonds that holds the secret to the essential ingredient in the ‘Trieste’s fave’: the ‘Farinella’.
To maintain the optimal consistency of the ‘Trieste’s fave’ during the processing of ‘Farinella’, essential oils must not leak out, which may happen when processing of old crops of favas. Proper preparation is a long process that must respect all the balances that make up the finished product.
Day of the Dead and symbolism
Ancient Romans believed that the fava bean could be a communication tool with the world of the dead due to its very long roots that penetrate deeply into the ground.
Hence the origin of the name of these sweets that continue to recall the cycle of life through the symbolic use of colours:
- white = birth
- pink = life
- brown/black = death
Where to buy them
We asked Maurizio Stagni, a fine local connoisseur, for advice on where to sample these delicacies:
- for those looking for tradition: Sircelli and Antico Caffè San Marco
- usually the ‘Trieste’s fave’ are sold in packages with all the flavours, but those who prefer to buy a single colour can find packages at Eppinger
- a touch of originality is offered by Jerian, who added a yellow flavour with Stock Original, a brandy born in Trieste.
- For those who prefer a more artisanal product, we recommend Panificio Pasticceria Peccati di Gola (via Roma 28).