The biscuit of Novara was born in the city convents in the mid-1500s as a gift in the week after Easter by the Novara clergy for the Roman one. The ingredients were simple, those that the Novara countryside could offer at that time, wheat flour, eggs and honey to sweeten them which will then be replaced by sugar in the mid-500 with the first arrivals from the Americas.
The peculiarity of this dessert is also in the cooking, the long journey between Novara and Rome required a method of conservation that would allow this sweet gift to arrive fragrant up to the Vatican rooms. In those days salting and smoking were the most used preservatives but they did not go particularly well with desserts, then the nuns invented this double cooking, first on wooden tablets (replaced today by paper) and once cooked and detached from the tablets were placed on grids and placed on top of the cooking oven, so that the exhausted heat, sweeter than the cooking one, slowly took away the humidity, hence the name bis-cotto, cooked twice.
In the early nineteenth century, a pharmacist and grocer named Prina rediscovered the recipe and began selling the biscuit in his pharmacy as a restorative product because of its high energy value but easy digestibility.
During that period, Novara had a new resurgence, the industry began to proliferate, the construction of the cathedral and the dome gave a boost to the city economy and the sweets became part of daily consumption and from there the flourishing of ovens that each produced with his own recipe, the Novara Biscottino.
Among these, in an alley in the city center, a few steps from Corso Cavour and in the shadow of the dome of San Gaudenzio in 1852 Camporelli was born, the laboratory was inside a courtyard in a railing house where the produced the product by hand.
Even today the recipe has remained the same as it used to be, fresh eggs whipped with sugar, the addition of flour only, the quick-cooking on paper – from which they are detached manually – their slow drying, are all the secrets of the legendary lightness of the biscuit from Novara. The result is a light and fragrant biscuit, ideal for breakfast, excellent if dipped in coffee, tea or chocolate, delicious for a snack between meals. In the kitchen it is the best base for the preparation of desserts with cream or zabaglione cream.
Although the Novara Camporelli Biscottino as we have seen is a product born more than 500 years ago, it remains even more and more current thanks to the simplicity of the ingredients, the total absence of lactose (often the cause of intolerances), the low fat content (less than 3%) and the absence of palm and other oils make the authentic Biscottino di Novara absolutely in line with the current needs of the market which is constantly looking for light and genuine products.