for mostaccioli shows care for each aspect: mixture, making,cooking time,because all
together they create not only a sweet but a real,long conservation object, to be given on
In the blender, put 1 part of water and 3 of local honey(in winter: make it melt on the
flame);then,sift the flour,to be slowly added and amalgamated.
Honey,as sweetener, softens pastry during the time, absorbing moisture and making the
final product more tasteful.
In part, its honey locally produced by paisants and by Soriano apiculturists: it can
be orange-, wildflowers-,acacia- and chestnut-flavoured;this one is the most flavoured,but
its always advisable to mixed it with other kinds of honey,because of its bitter
aftertaste. On the contrary, figs honey isnt used anymore:it coagulates little and
doesnt allow to fix sweets shapes for a long time.
During the thirties, in Soriano traditions we could find also "done
must",disappeared today,but still in use near Caserta and Napoli, where there is the
production of similar biscuits.
Other sweeteners used today are:mixing of invert sugar and glucose syrup,which substitute
50% of honey at least, standardize products taste, with a rilevant reduction in production
expenses.After few hours or a whole nigth rest, the thick yeastless pastry is easy to
knead and forge( using a knife blade) on a wooden table or better on a marble or steel
Its important to leave pastry to stand for a while,because it will be easier to
forge after,using hands,ferruzza(thin blade),sticca(spatula) or rasagnu(small
cogwheel, which gives brown coat to edges and impresses the artisans initials).
The handmade product will get its final fantastic aspect in the oven,embellished with many
Artisans,we should say artists,fold,stick,cut and forge pastry carefully without
using any mould;
they help themselves with hands,water and oil,to make the pastry smoother and to separate
the different pieces from the working table.
Moulds are used only for simple,standard shapes or for faces impressed with little
moulds;all the rest can be learnt in laboratories, without any book,but just looking
carefully at the "mastazzolaro",at aged artisans and listening to their precious
Red,green or silver-coloured tin foil is the only "artificial" decorative
element used for pastry figures with natural things,such as beans for puppetseyes.
In past times,artisans cooked mostaccioli on wooden fires(briar-root or olive tree frond):
only expert eyes and hands could size mostaccioli right colour and cooking ; today
everything is baked in electric ovens, where many oily baking tins are arranged in rows.
After 20 minutes at 220°, mostaccioli get hard and darker ,little by little; normally,
mostaccioli made with sugar are darker than the ones made with honey,because sugar candies
easier than honey.
To get black shapes,such as "horse"or "S.Francesco", sugar must be
burnt on fire with little water, then melt into the mixture of flour and honey.
Cooking time and temperature depend on the mostacciolo thickness; normally, to get a
perfect final product, artisans bake together tins containing mostaccioli of the same
shapes,which need the same time to get ready.Longer times are required for the evaporation
of almost 14% of water,so, for bigger mostaccioli.
Its important to keep in mind that cooking on a low flame is necessary to avoid ugly
From laboratories and craftmenshops, a delicious smell runs out, spreading
everywhere;thats why Soriano is called "the smelling town",welcoming
whoever goes there on visiting.
Once cooked,mostaccioli are left to cool,without folding,breaking or damaging; then,
in cellophane,to be easily transported and kept crisp for a long time.