/Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti's Fave dei Morti

Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti's Fave dei Morti

On Saturday I swung by my favorite cookie shop in Rome, the over century-old Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti on via della Luce in Trastevere. They had just taken their famous fave dei morti (beans of the dead) out of the oven. These squared off cookies made from bits of almond, sugar, butter, flour, and eggs are a typical treat associated with All Souls Day (il giorno dei morti) which is celebrated every November 2.

While the holiday derives from a Catholic tradition, it is still widely celebrated in spite of Rome’s increasingly secular nature. The rituals associated with this and other religious festivals are so ingrained that it is difficult to lose them even after their religious connotations wane. So today, people will still eat fave dei morti even if they don’t light a candle in church or trek out to the cemetery to pay their respects to loved ones.

I, for one, will celebrate the day of the dead with the few fave I’ve got left (a half-kilo of anything doesn’t last long in this house). I will also spend some time pondering the evolution of ritual foods and their association with the cult of the dead. If this sounds loco, hear me out. I wrote my B.A. thesis on a sarcophagus in the Capitoline Museums, so Roman death is kinda my thing.

In Rome, there is a long-standing tradition of venerating the dead on prescribed days. In antiquity, February 13-22 marked the Parentalia, a festival in which people brought garlands, pinches of salt, and violets to the tombs of their loved ones. Throughout the Middle Ages, the relics of saints were celebrated on their feast days. And today, in a city that is more secular than ever, the Catholic holiday All Souls Day is celebrated with designated foods.

Now, I am not very religious (understatement) but I’m happy to take part in traditions as long as I can eat. I’ll do it today and again at Carnival, on the Feast San Giuseppe, and again at Easter.

2016-01-07T03:38:10+00:00 November 2nd, 2010|Categories: Carbs, Culture, Gastronomic Traditions, Rome & Lazio|6 Comments


  1. Angie November 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Yum! I love Italian seasonal/holiday treats like this. My favorite are definitely all the ones leading up to Carnival. Mmmm. Frittele di riso, how I miss you so.

    These fave dei morti look pretty good too. How do they fare with milk?

  2. […] Wed November 3rd, 2010 « Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti’s Fave dei Morti […]

  3. Macarons November 4, 2010 at 12:19 am - Reply

    I wasn’t aware that the day of the dead, or dia de los muertos as it is known here, was celebrated all around the world! Wow. Are those cookies similar in taste to the cookies we know as macaroons?


    • Katie November 4, 2010 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      the almond flavor is really subtle and these cookies aren’t quite the same as macarons. there is a kosher bakery in the ghetto in rome that makes almond paste macarons with lots of sugar, so much that you grind it between your teeth. amazing.

  4. My Very Best Bites of 2010 January 2, 2011 at 7:33 am - Reply

    […] at Open Baladin Spaghetti with sea urchin roe at Tuna Bean pure’ with mussels Antico Arco Fave dei Morti at Biscottificio Artigiano […]

  5. […] durak Trastevere’de ki Santa Maria kilisesi ve sokak içindeki nefiskurabiyeci Biscottificio Artigiano oldu. Cadde üstündeki cafedende mis gibi kahveler alınınca hiç bir eksik kalmadı, […]

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