Little Bitter Things

Our groovy multicultural supermarket had stacks of amaretti in their Italian section last night when we were buying groceries. I bought two packages and am considering going back for more.

The word amaretti is Italian for “little, bitter things”. Problem is, most amaretti are made from sweet almonds which are not really bitter at all.

My first encounter with the meringue-based cookie came in the late 80s when my then-boyfriend lived next door to an Italian bakery. We would buy huge boxes of their amaretti, along with delicious marzipan. These amaretti were larger, crunchy on the outside, soft and almost pasty on the inside. Like most amaretti made in North America, they were made with almonds.

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