DA SAPERE: Ciò che forse distingue maggiormente questo dolce da altri di cioccolato e lo accomuna alla torta co’ becchi lucchese è la conformazione del bordo dell’impasto, che mani esperte suddividono in tanti piccoli triangoli più o meno precisi, che vagamente ricordano i merli di un castello. Sono questi, e non i pinoli, come qualcuno pensa, i “bischeri” ma perché vengano così definiti non è dato sapere.
Imagine a soft cream made with white rice, dark chocolate, pinenuts, candied fruit, raisins and spices in a shortcrust pastry pie. It is called the “Torta co’ bischeri” and it’s a traditional cake of the Pisa province.
The “Torta co’ bischeri” is originally from Pontasserchio, north of Pisa, and it was first made around the beginning of the sixteenth century as an offering to the pilgrims who visited the town. The famous Via Francigena passes through Italy, 400 km (250 miles) of which are in Tuscany. When the pilgrims stopped in a city or small town, the locals used to treat them with respect, finding accommodation, food and beverage.
This delicious cake is characterized by the folds of pastry dough made on the outer edge of it, which are called “bischeri” because they are similar in appearance to guitar tuning heads. Since 2007, it has had a quality brand with a rigorous specification, according to the area of production, the origin of raw materials and the requirement of specific pinenuts that must come from the Regional Park of San Rossore Migliarino Massaciuccoli.