Passions & Places

Funghetto di Offida

Il Funghetto di Offida

This product is called “funghetto” but it has nothing to do with mycology.

One of the most renowned typical product of Offida (which boasts among its deliciousness even the “chichiripieno”) is a confectionery speciality: it’s a kind of small cake, generally with a rounded look, which presents a surface with white spots (empty in their interior)  similar to a mushroom cap. For this reason this product has been called “funghetto” which dirves mad children and adults for its nice look and,  above all, for its delicious flavour.

So much excellence derives chiefly for a secret ingredient which copyright is manteined with great care by the inhabitants.
It is a black substance of tough consistency with a sweet taste in which are soaked those parts similar to a mushroom cap.

The compound is based on a mixture of flour, water, sugar, egg whites and some aniseeds. The cake is prepared forming with a dough some small balls which, after being dried, are arranged on  metal moulds of different shapes and put in the oven. With the high temperature the egg white coagulates, the sugar becomes a caramel colour and dissolves itself in the space included among the balls that, in this way, empty themselves completely.

The result is a bakery product which maintains unchanged for a long time its characteristics thanks to the high conservability of the ingredients.
In fact it lasts for many weeks and its unique taste remains intact and delicious.

But the “funghetto” of Offida isn’t just a simple cake or a luxury sweets. Its history is long and glorious; it has accomplished an important function thanks to the characteristic of long lastingness of its energy. The inhabitants of Offida have exploited this property in periods of famine, war, siege or journey. It’s sufficient to soften it and heat it up in the oven or flames: the “funghetto gives back all its properties and the unmistakable taste.

The origin and the starting period of its production is unknown: only a local historian, Carlo Arduini, in the book “historical memories of Offida” published in 1844, mentions the lace industry and  the pasta productions  using for them the term “funghetti”. At present these cakes with mushroom shape are commercialised in every shop in the village. The “funghetto” of Offida in also included on the list together with 90 marchigian products considered as the Italian tradition that must be preserved. This is a guarantee which permits us to taste this cake even in the future and a form of protection against any possible imitation.     

© 2001 Liberation Ventures Ltd.

   Edit | Passions  |  Itinerary  |  Where To Stay
 | Map  |   Print  |