Once upon a time there were Piedmont and Sicily

It was a spring in the late 1700s when a very young Sicilian girl left the small seaside cottage where she lived with her parents headed for the Castello della Mandria.

During the warm season this residence separated from the Palace of Venaria by a magnificent park came alive and was visited very often by the Savoy family; no better opportunity for a young pastry chef to seek her fortune in the royal kitchens.

What she did not yet know is that she would find, in addition to good fortune, love.

As is always the case,love came to her with the face of the unexpected

That of the precise and methodical, perhaps a bit rigid, Francesco Moriondo, the Palace bursar.

His family, originally from the tiny village of Mombaruzzo, had taught him to meticulously keep track of everything that came in or went out of the pantry; the harshness of country life had taught him that wasting nothing could make the difference between life and death.

He managed the expenses of the Castle of the Mandria with the care reserved for a living thing, making sure that every coin was used for the right purpose.

He taught her that the things that work are those that are planned in advance.

She taught him that only by deviating at the last minute does one discover the beauty of life.

In the Amaretto, which they invented after retiring from the Mandria and returning to Mombaruzzo, is locked up the essence of their love: the enthralling sweetness of the Sicilian almond, the bitter edge of the armellina, which stings the palate.

A bittersweet aftertaste that in its fullness never fully satisfies and always urges one to want more: like love.

"oh, i son bon...i son un poc amaret”

Here is what the people of Mombaruzzo used to say about these still unnamed sweets.

Christened as macaroons because of them, they became so famous that they won gold medals at the International Expositions of:

Milan 1881
Naples 1882
Turin 1884
Rome 1887-1895

Thanks to grandsons Virginio and Carlo, who devoted their lives to the sweets that so clearly bore the story of their grandparents…

Back to our own day and history

In 2011, following in the footsteps of Paolina Berta, Gianfranco and Enrico’s grandmother, who used to accompany spirits with a macaroon, we took over the Carlo Moriondo brand, deciding to move production to Distilleria and enrich the original recipe with new flavors; hazelnut, coffee, candied fruits, chocolate covered and, of course, grappa.

We also decide to preserve the name Moriondo: certainly a tribute to a great family of our land and a great invention, but above all to two boys, who fell in love in a pastry shop and of their love made a bigger project.

A curiosity

The traditional amaretto recipe calls for only four ingredients

almond
armelline
sugar
yolks

We spray them with grappa, which helps to preserve them: in fact they are without synthetic preservatives!