Bologna makes Christmas even more tasty thanks to its delicious holiday recipes, such as Pinza Montanara: a fragrant sweet made of yeast dough rolled and stuffed with a mixture of Mostarda alla Bolognese (a kind of marmalade made of apples, peers, plums, almonds and raisins and a little bit of mustard), almonds, nuts, hazelnuts, raisins and dried figs.
Pinza has oblong shape with rounded borders and a glossy surface decorated with grains of sugar. It can be preserved long enough, even for two weeks and it is traditionally consumed for breakfast or after a meal dunked in red wine, such as Raviole di San Giuseppe.
The tradition of adding a personal touch to the recipe has inevitably given rise to several variations of Pinza. For example, the filling can be prepared with chocolate, candied citron, spices or wine.
The sweet takes its name Pinza (pliers) from its particular folded shape that seems to grasp the stuffing just as if it was a clamp.
Pinza was born in the countryside of Bologna and is one of the most traditional Christmas recipe of our cuisine.
A recipe with this name and similar characteristics was found in 1644, in the book L’Economia del Cittadino in Villa (The economy of the citizen in the country) written by the Bolognese agronomist Vincenzo Tanara who describes it as an ovate sweet stuffed with raisins prepared in the rural area of Bologna.
These features of Pinza remained unchanged but, over the time, the filling has been enriched with the addition of Mostarda alla Bolognese, almonds, nuts, hazelnuts and dried figs.
As a demonstration of its strong ties with the local tradition, from the beginning of the last century the Italian term Pinza and, above all, the dialectal one Penza
, appear in the Bolognese dialect vocabulary
with specific reference to the traditional sweet.