Jump to Roma on my most recent ‘PTJ Quattro Formaggi’ tasting tour. Tucked away in a quiet alleyway in Trastevere where an old man sits out the front of his house offering passers-by his perfect looking fruit, is Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti.
Unassuming and understated, the store radiates a sense of warmth (even in the middle of winter) with it’s buttery-sugary aroma that carries down the wind-tunnel alleyway and dissipates into the wide open main street. The shop windows are stacked with every kind of cookie you could think of in a no-frills-all-function system of white plastic trays on metal racks. At a glance I see chewy hazelnut meal cookies, pistachio biscotti, jam & cream sandwiches, amaretti, gingerbread men, pizzelle (waffles), bocconotti (shortbread), and cannoli just to name a few.
Enter. The sound of the bell on the front door chime, the whir of the industrial granddaddy cookie oven, a lady reads the latest store review from the newspaper to the owner aloud while she takes trays out of the oven, and the smell of freshly baked cookies couldn’t be more real. A cabinet of tarts to the right, the black stone bench top, and stack of wrapping paper to the left, frame a beautiful Euromec scale that is the standout piece of machinery in the store. You buy by weight: not piece, not type, but weight and choosing is easy… ‘I’ll have one of everything please!’
Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti
Via della Luce, 21, Trastevere,