San Marco dei Cavoti and Torrone

December 11, 2007 / Local Interest
San Marco de Cavoti
Since this is the time of year when most Italians start preparing for the challenges of holiday food overload, it would be difficult not to mention one of the most treasured products of the Sannio: il torroncino (small nougat) di S. Marco dei Cavoti.

References to it can be found as early as 100 B.C. when it aptly went under the name of cupedia, a term used to describe gluttony for fine or delicate foods!

As for origin of the word, some believe torrone comes from the Latin verb torréo (to roast), others that it stems from the word turúnda meaning flat cake or bun. Be that as it may, this exquisite delicacy made of honey, egg white, hazel nuts and almonds draws young and old to S. Marco dei Cavoti every year for the Festa del Torrone in December.

In the 19th century Cavalier Innocenzo Borrillo came up with the recipe for which S. Marco dei Cavoti is famous. Bite-sized and covered in rich, dark chocolate, it was a favorite of the Bourbon King of Naples, Ferdinando I. From there it made its way quickly to the tables of popes and nobles all over Europe. The Borrillo family’s tiny jewel of a store still exists today, and Signor Innocenzo, grandson of the founder, and his family are as busy as ever!

Barbara Goldfield

by Barbara Goldfield

Owner of “Savour The Sannio”, www.savourthesannio.com, a travel consultancy for central and southern Italy.

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