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The ghersìn, or little ghersa (a small stick of bread): a crunchy, all-Piedmontese delicacy that takes its name from the long loaves of bread once consumed in the Turin area, known as ghersa. The origins of the breadstick are both noble and rather interesting: indeed, legend has it that young Vittorio Amedeo of Savoy, the future king of Italy, was known to have had a poor appetite since birth and that his growth was stunted because he was unable to digest bread crusts. And so Antonio Brunero, the court baker, had the idea of taking bread dough, rolling it out into long sticks and baking it until it dried out and became crunchy. This over-baked bread was lightweight and easy to digest. Not only did it help Vittorio Amedeo to grow but it was also such a success that it became a staple in the diet of the members of the House of Savoy and also rapidly gained popularity throughout the rest of the region.
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