History of Montione's Biscotti
A Bakery Cafe in Foggia, Italy with a Secret Recipe
When I was a little girl, my Mother would tell me about her family's bakery cafe in Foggia, Italy, a fishing village near the sea. The cafe was in the family for hundreds of years and fisherman going on long sea journeys would stop for their supply of biscotti. My family's old country biscotti gained their legendary fame because, at one point in history, the women in my Mother's family came together to formulate a special recipe and kept it secret within the family.
The fishermen loved my family's biscotti best because they had the best taste and flavor, they were not so hard and stayed dry and crisp while sailing in heavy storms and on high seas. All other biscotti was dry, hard and had no taste. The sailors would devour our biscotti with rum, wine or vermouth. Others would just enjoy them as a cookie. On occasion if some other biscotti were on board ship, the fishermen would argue over who would get to eat my famiy's special biscotti.
My Mother told me how proud the family was as their style of biscotti was spread to other regions of Italy. Yet, my ancestors always kept the true recipe a secret. And as hard as anyone tried, they just could not duplicate my Mother's family biscotti recipe. Not even today.
The Tradition Comes to America
When my Mother came to America from Foggia, Italy in 1927 with her centuries old biscotti recipe, she had a dream to share them with others in her own bakery. She passed this dream to me by teaching me the art and love of baking. A little bit of this and a little bit of that! We didn't even use measuring cups. She mixed them just right and baked them just right. They came out perfect every time. It was magical to me!
I continued the tradition by starting a small bakery in 1988 and thus sharing the delicious taste of my Mother's twice baked Italian dipping cookies. I started from my home in Massachusetts because friends kept begging me to make more of "those delicious Italian cookies!" They told me things like, "they could eat them like a cookie, but they were better than a cookie" "When they dipped them, the already great flavor got even better." "They reminded them of their own family recipes and traditions."
Montione's Becomes a Success
Everyone loved our biscotti! Our business expanded by word-of-mouth. We moved from our home to a bakery that we designed to bake only biscotti using century old artisan baking methods. In 1991, we were named "Best of Boston" by Boston Magazine. We even started selling our biscotti in Boston's North End.
We continued to expand the flavors of our "crunchy twice baked" biscotti. In addition to my Mothers "Traditional" line of biscotti, we introduced our "New England" biscotti which takes my Mother's recipe and blends it with the fruits and foods of New England. We then introduced our "soft once-baked biscotti which is featured during the November and December holidays. We now have fifteen flavors plus special seasonal flavors!
Sharing a Legacy
We ship nationwide to people who love our biscotti, adults and children. Today, they enjoy dipping them in coffee, tea, milk...and like the fishermen of Foggia, wine! Many also continue to enjoy eating them like a nice cookie because they're so easy to bite. We also ship them to people who never had our biscotti and now love them so much they're addicted!
We preserve the Montione's tradition by continuing to bake our quality homemade biscotti by hand in small batches with the freshest and purest ingredients which still match the old country recipe. This captures the essence and taste of old world Italy and sets our biscotti apart from all others. It has created a legacy of excellence. And it is now a privilege to share our beloved family biscotti with you.
Mary T. Montione