Carnevale is a few weeks away and so the Innocenti’s family biscottificio (literally “cookie making enterprise”!) is already at full regime, cranking out mountains of frappe, the deep fried sugar powdered cookies that are only made during the period that leads up to lent. Not that the production of other biscotti (from bis-cotto, which simple means “twice baked”) comes to a halt at all… it’s just that frappe, given their unavailability during the rest of the year seem to be moving out the door at a very brisk pace these days.
Ask Signora Stefania, the owner, for some and like her mother, the late Signora Anna before her, the first question she will ask you is “Per quanti?” (“For how many?”), and perhaps just as importantly, whether you’ll want some left over for yourself. She will then liberally cover each layer of frappe with powdered sugar before wrapping it up for you.
One day a few years ago her mother had finished all the small change in the cash register and so simply gave the customers some more frappe instead. Funniest thing… everyone seemed quite please with the solution, probably thinking that one can hardly eat coins con il caffé after all. And besides… the end of Carnevale and then lent are around the corner anyways.
Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti, Via della Luce, 21, Trastevere, Roma