Ricciarelli are the sweets par excellence of the Sienese sweets tradition, they are made with a paste of the marzipan type, coarse-grained, very worked and enhanced by a mixture of candies and vanilla. The dough thus formed is baked in the oven and then takes the form of small lozenges, slightly curled at the end. Ricciarelli take the shape of the rice grain, their rough and cracked surface is covered with powdered sugar and rest on a host’s leaf.
These biscottoni were invented in the fourteenth century and were a very popular dessert in the Tuscan courts. Legend has it that the knight Ricciardetto Della Gherardesca introduced these sweets on his return from the Crusades to his castle near Volterra. They are traditionally worked with the mill and left to rest for two days before cooking them. It is the first confectionery product for Italy to have European protection. In March 2010, the name Ricciarelli di Siena was recognized as a protected geographical indication (PGI).