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History of Pizzelles

           Pizzelle (pit-sell) - Pizzelles are the oldest known cookie and originated in the mid-section of Italy.

Pizzelles are also known as Italian wafer cookies and there are various ways which to spell pizzelle such as "piazelle," "piazella," "pizzele" and "pizelle." The name comes from the Italian word "pizze" for round and flat. Many different cultures have adapted this cookie and re-named it accordingly. In Scandinavia they are also known as "Lukken" and the Krumcake is baked using a similar iron as the pizzelle.

The first pizzelle makers were made of iron, in the Abruzzi region of Italy. Legend goes that some poor blacksmiths of the region used old railroad nails and pieces of track to forge the irons, called "ferratelle," referring to the ferrous metal. Because they were used over open fires, they had very long handles to keep the user from getting burned.
          In Salle, in the Abruzzi region of Italy, there is a festival, which takes place in which pizzelles plays a large role. The feast is held in July to honor Beato Roberto a twelfth-century monk. When the feast begins, people bring food to the town square and some people attach pizzelles to tree branches and proceed down the street with them."

In some parts of Italy, the irons would be made with family crests on them which would be passed down to each generation. To many Italians, there is no feast without pizzelles.

Over time it became tradition to use pizzelles to celebrate any holiday or festive occasion, but inevitably there were pizzelles for everyone at Christmas and Easter. The modern patterns found on these delicious waffle cookies most commonly are floral on one side and a woven basket-like pattern on the other.
         The recent increased popularity of pizzelles is the result of greater recognition of their delicious versatility. For example, pizzelles, when still hot, can be formed into cylinders, cones and mini-baskets that can hold a wide variety of delicious fillings for festive occasions. The range of taste experiences that can be created with fillings of formed pizzelles is virtually endless.

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