Saturday Story- Cobblestone Streets of Cagliari and Amaretti Cookies

Cagliari, Sardegna, my birth city, holds pieces of my heart in its crooked and cracked cobblestone streets. My earliest memories are walking the streets with my nonna, nonno, and family. We shopped and stopped at a cafe for gelato and afternoon coffee. As I write I am walking the streets in my mind- picturing the shortcuts and paths leading to my favorite places. I feel the bottom of my summer flats scrapping against the worn cobblestones. The memory alone makes my heart skip a beat.
A couple of years ago when walking these streets with my husband and children we happened upon this little hole in the wall (literally without a door) with a woman making and selling my favorite cookies- Amaretti. The Italian word “amaro” means “bitter,” and as these little cookies are flavoured with bitter almonds, they are called “amaretti” – literal translation “the little bitter ones.” The sugar and egg whites neutralize the bitter and make a perfectly crunchy exterior and soft dense almond bursting interior. I snapped this photograph as I bit into a cookie with the other.
My children joined me in the tasting. We stood next to this lovely woman, standing on the same cobblestone street, sharing a deep rooted love for these cookies while appreciating her craft. Her face filled with joy as she noticed our delight in her cookies. A joy sparked by sharing hard work and love through food, her “amaretti love”.
I know that feeling. Maybe YOU do too? The kind when you bake or cook with love and it’s accepted with gratitude and pleasure. It fills my heart more than eating the meal myself.
As you may notice, ALL my recipes are signed- Made with Amore (love), Elena. It’s true. I love what I do in these little squares for all of you. From the cobblestone streets of Cagliari to your homes around the world- I create recipes to spread that special “amaretti cookie” love for you and yours.
Do you know someone who might like this story? Spread the love to them…
Baci,
Elena