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INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS THAT MAKE THE DIFFERENCE...




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FLAVOUR

Artificial flavours? None, OF COURSE! Our flavours are only and exclusively natural. They derive from candied fruit, honey, vanilla bean and without doubt from our secret ingredient: the mother dough, with its texture of unique flavour and fragrance.

COCOA

Origin - Cacao from the Oulaidon province takes its name from the nearby village, a tiny world of two thousand inhabitants nestled between the region of the Lagunas, near Tiassalé, and the province of Divo, at the centre of a network of other villages, some as far as 20 km away, which refer to it as the beating heart and social epicentre of the area. Oulaidon cacao is produced by a fair trade project run directly by the ChocoFair Cote d'Ivoire network, which aims to protect the biodiversity of plantations growing more than one type of cacao variety and to develop the quality of stone-ground cacao processing. Organoleptic features - The cacao is fermented using stacked sweatboxes for 6 days on banana leaves, and drying lasts for 7 to 10 days. The result is a highly scented cacao, also thanks to the exchange of pollen with wild orange, mango, coffee and cardamom plants growing nearby. Aromatic notes - Primary notes of cacao, wood and spice. Low bitterness, acidity and astringency.

COLOUR

No artificial colour! Our natural colour palette is made of the yellow of lemons, the red of sour amarena cherries, the orange of apricots and when we want to be really creative… it’s easy! We mix the yellow and red of peaches!

CANDIED FRUIT AND RAISINS

Lemons peel from Sicilian lemons, the peel of Washington oranges from Calabria, peaches, sour Amarena cherries from Istria and Serbia, round apricots from Costigliole Saluzzo, “armogiane” apricots... for now… because every year we pick and choose new fruits for our fruity creations! Candied fruit adds a sprinkling of colour to our leavened products, an injection of energy that doesn’t alter its features of high digestibility. All fruits we use are not treated with sulphites or preservatives of any kind. Through the productive chain our raw material is strictly controlled and carefully monitored, then processed with the utmost care. Fruits are peeled by hand and immediately frozen so as to maintain their flavour and fragrant features in natural way without any preservation treatment in brine followed by washing. Candying process takes place in open vats, without mechanical pressures, but simply under atmospheric pressure. Open air tank candying is a very long process, lasting weeks, but it maintains the peels very soft and allows the fruits to maintain a strong flavour. Cutting and dicing operations are performed rigorously after canding. This is particularly important for our candied oranges and lemons, that preserve a thick but soft peel, rich in essential oils with an unmistakable fragrance. The sour Amarena cherries are pitted before being frozen, which is why they have an irregular shape. They are particularly juicy and rich in flavour because they are delivered to us in their candying syrup… mmmm... Our apricots are candied with the pit, which gives a pleasant aromatic note of almond. The round Costigliole apricot, coming from the province of Cuneo, is an ancient variety, whose maturation on the same plant takes place in different stages according to sunlight exposure, factors extending harvest time considerably but giving us apricots with a particularly strong flavour. Once again letting things bide their time to bear fruit! Candied fruits are the vitamins for our products. They leave an attractive fragrance, satisfying our sense of smell and flattering our taste buds with an intriguing sweet but slightly tart mix. Last but not least, raisins. Ours come from a properly dried grape variety of Greek, Turkish or Iranian origin. Australian raisins are presently one of the best on the market for confectionery use. The raisin has an amber colour and is made from grapes with a very thin peel. This increases its melting point and its ability to stay intact in the dough. Every year we select our raisins just before starting production. We choose them fresh from the May harvest and have them delivered without any treatment or additives. We are fascinated by their unbelievable fragrance and very sweet taste, with a naturally high concentration of sugars. They are excellent in our panettone but so good, that sometimes… we admit it, we like to eat them plain!

MILK & BUTTER

We use fresh, whole milk. Very fresh, indeed! Every morning it is delivered to us directly from the dairy in our village. The dairy is a cooperative that, over time has been able to gather a series of small local producers of raw mountain, hill and lowland milk. Today it includes 400 members, one third of which produce mountain milk and about twenty are certified organic producers. The passion of single producers working in a cooperative network results in greater energies and resources destined to improve quality. Being supplied ‘close to home” is synonymous for absolute freshness and it is also a way to actively contribute to the growth of local economies. As far as butter is concerned, unfortunately it was not possible to find a butter of Italian origin with the quality features we look for. The “original sin” of Italian butter lies in the fact that it is almost always considered a by-product of cheese production and not a product in itself. Italian butter is often of lower quality compared to the ones produced abroad, in particular butter produced in Northern Europe. North-European countries use a centrifugation procedure for butter production, the best universally recognized milk separation process that does not alter its organoleptic qualities. There are many but essentially two reasons: the surfacing process is very long and effected at very high temperatures, with consequent alteration of organoleptic properties. Whether we like it or not, like many other Italian confectioners, in order to find a high-quality butter, we have been forced to go beyond the Alps.

NATURAL LEAVEN

Natural leaven is also called acid leaven, sourdough or mother dough. We prefer to call ours mother dough. It is the most important ingredient, the absolutely irreplaceable “quid” The equivalent of a signature at the bottom of a work of art. Our mother dough is the unique imprint that makes our products authentic. The use of mother dough as rising agent inside a mixture was a procedure used before the selection of brewer’s yeast. Today, brewer’s yeast is the most popular because it allows faster processing and shorter production times. In the past mother dough was something to guard so jealously for its unique features, that it was given to daughters when they were about to get married. In villages it was preserved by bakers who, with proper refreshing, kept it alive and redistributed it weekly to families preparing bread at home. Today the choice of using natural leaven is a means to perpetuate an ancient manual skill and regain the sacred ritual of feeding ourselves. In order to better understand the meaning of this choice, which is absolutely contrary to the concept of “convenience” and “easiness”, it is useful to know what the main features and differences between brewer’s yeast and natural leaven are, and how they act differently in the dough. When water is mixed with flours of some cereal types (wheat, Kamut, barley, rye and spelt), thanks to the mechanical kneading action, proteins interweave in different ways according to flour types, creating a three-dimensional and elastic network. This is known as gluten mesh. This thick texture is made of particles of starch, lipids, water and small air bubbles. Yeasts, thanks to their precious fermentation, fill these little bubbles with carbon dioxide, increasing their volume and pushing gluten meshes to widen, making dough grow and increase in volume. This raising process concludes at high heat during cooking, that expands carbon dioxide in dough bubbles. The main difference between brewer’s yeast and natural leaven is that brewer’s yeast is a concentrated selection of one bacterial strain, the saccharomyceses cerevisiae.These bacteria act entirely through an alcoholic fermentation that digests the flour starches, producing alcohol (which evaporates totally during cooking) and carbon dioxide (mainly responsible for the rising process). On the other hand, natural leaven is made up of several bacterial strains: different species of saccharomyces, species of lactic bacteria, species of acidic bacteria and various other microorganisms, according to where and how the mother dough is produced. The name mother dough is well-chosen indeed: as mother can be only one, so one mother dough can’t be absolutely identical to another one. There are also many factors making natural leavens differ from one another: the geographical area of origin, dough parameters (flour type, quantity and characteristics of the water), environmental parameters (temperature and humidity), environmental contaminants, baker’s refining and extremely varied production techniques handed down for centuries. Our mother dough has been kept alive for more than forty years and preserved with care and attention, the way one would care for living thing, as sour dough is. Every day we refresh the dough three times, working it in an isolated environment with a kneader exclusively devoted to “it.” Daily we take small quantities of it to create our leavened products and we ‘let it the rest” in water at room temperature. We prefer this preservation method to keeping it in a cotton sack because in this way dough suffers fewer sudden thermal changes: water acts as thermal insulator cooling very slowly without stressing the leaven. Like brewer’s yeast, mother dough brings about alcoholic fermentation but also lactic fermentation, similar to what happens in yogurt, where lactic bacteria turn flour sugars partly into lactic acid and partly into acetic acid. The result is the creation of a sour environment inside the dough (from here the name of sour leaven/dough) such that it is able to prevent possible pathogenic organisms and to naturally lengthen the leavens’ preservation time. A natural leavening makes products healthier and more digestible. This thanks to lactic bacteria, which is able to turn proteins present in the dough into simple amino acids. The immediately noticeable differences between products leavened naturally and products raised with brewer’s yeast is in the unique consistency and taste that only a natural leaven yeast can give. Brewer’s yeast is a ”pure” yeast, selected with that only one strain of bacteria, able to generate only equal leavenings, with the same production of carbon dioxide. This creates a regular alveolation. Those typically irregular alveoli of ancient tradition can be created only by means of a natural leaven. That darker crust is also an effect of natural leavening as free amino acids react with sugars during the cooking process. Natural leaven, being a concentration of complex material, is less reliable when processed and difficult to be controlled in the dough. Besides requiring a more complex working process, sour leavening takes much longer, making it difficult to adjust production cycles. Only experience and ability can manage such variable parameters and be sure to get a high quality end product. Even if the use of natural leaven can sometimes be the cause of frustration, we would never be able to give it up! Without the help of our mother dough we would not be able of provide you with that unmistakable bouquet of fragrances, that flavour reminiscent of honey, that sweet taste with a slight sour connotation and that aroma bearing our signature. Unwrapping a panettone Filippi will be like opening a small window into our workshop and breathing in a bit of our air... Like when we were children, we used to open the kitchen door and, even if we weren’t able to see what was being prepared, the fragrances brought us much farther than any other explanation...

HONEY

Sweet as honey... Ancient Greeks and Romans used honey in many ways, including as a sweetening agent. Since the Middle Ages this use has decreased through the centuries, until being widely replaced by industrially refined sugar. We have decided to go back to use this optimal natural sweetener, dosing it in combination with sugar. What can be sweeter and more natural than honey? It has a greater sweetening power than sugar and therefore allows us to save calories while being an energetically valuable element. Among all food types it is the only absolutely natural one: it arrives to us without being manipulated by man. It is a product resulting from the work of bees picking up nectar from flowers and plants, providing us with a high-quality food, whose features are uniquely produced by nature. Our honey comes from a specialized company, located in the province of Padova, whose bees are treated ecologically and fly on the hillsides of the Po Valley, in the Regional Park of the Euganean Hills. It is a local product, born from love and respect of nature and from regional protection. Honey from the Euganean Hills is mostly honey of acacia, chestnut, heather and lavender. For our leavened products we have opted for acacia honey, because of its floral, slightly fruity fragrance and very clear colour. These are essential features that induced us to select it as our product: sweet but with a slight acidic taste, an absence of aftertaste, a naturally fluid consistence and the ease in working it with dough We can say indeed that since our first tests it has been a “honeymoon”, as the natural affinity by which robinia honey binds to all other ingredients, without overpowering their respective tastes and gives cakes more softness.

OIL

It’s from Sicily! In order to find our liquid gold, symbol of Mediterranean countries, we have gone right to the heart of the Iblei Mountains, in South-Eastern Sicily, where the olive, the most ancient tree planted on the Earth, thrives in its natural habitat. We have chosen a blend, an extra virgin oil resulting from pressing olives of different varieties (Moorish, Biancolilla, Nocellara, Cerasuola and Tonda Iblea,) cultivated near the Mediterranean Sea, at 150-250 meters above sea level. Olives are picked by hand in order to avoid damage to the drupe, in the exact moment of maturation, brought to producer’s crusher and milled on the same day in a high-tech processing plant equipped with three different extraction lines, centrifugation and pressing suitable to different olive types. In particular, oil extraction by cold centrifugation, without the addition of water, grants this oil its high quality. Its quality has been awarded many prizes and also acknowledged in the Flos Olei Guide, considered as the Sacred Book of the best olive oils on the market. A working process, performed at controlled temperatures, as well as the storage at 13º/14º C in stainless steel containers in the absence of oxygen, and finally, the use of nitrogen during bottling deliver us a very good oil that maintains its chemical features and organoletptic qualities for over 18 months. These features, combined with a full-bodied structure that matches the dough well, and a very balanced spicy bitter taste, were tested in our workshop and... we were convinced! That initial, almost adventurous idea to replace butter with oil in the preparation of the traditional leavened Christmas and Easter cakes, has resulted in products cooked to perfection out of our ovens!

VANILLA

Since we don’t use any artificial flavouring, it is a particularly important ingredient for us. it is the fundamental natural flavour that rounds off and completes the taste of our products. This is the final touch that only a flower can give! Vanilla is in fact an orchid, whose origin has far-off roots: Aztecs used it well before the New World’s discovery. Vanilla’s cultivation is delicate. It requires altitudes lower than 700 meters, temperatures between 21º and 31º C, an 80-percent constant humidity level for the whole year, well drained land rich in organic substances with 30/40% shading zones and a lot of manpower, particularly for pollination that is executed manually by daily passages. Our vanilla powder, of Planifolia Bourbon type, arrives from Madagascar and it is obtained from grinding whole untreated pods, coming from organic and certified fair trade cultivations. As we know, vanilla flavour is made up of 150 different natural aromatic molecules, among which the main one is vanillin. The vanilla we have chosen, thanks to its particular refining treatment, has a higher vanillin content compared to others beans on the market. That’s why every time you taste our products, your senses are pleasantly stimulated by the warm and sensual notes of vanilla.

ICING

As for icing we care about selecting single ingredients one by one, without slipping into the easy solution of using ready-made mixtures. Egg white, cane sugar, olive oil, almond flour, bitter almond flour, rice flour, whole “First Bari” almonds. Egg white is rigorously fresh from the eggs of free range hens, and sugar is, like in all of our cakes, cane sugar. We can say that we Filippi have a real weakness for olive oil, so that we even use it for icing, preferring it to other fats and less noble oils. Icing is the last phase that our leavened cakes undergo before being put in the oven, but it is definitely not the least meaningful one. Icing affects both a cake’s final presentation and initial taste pleasure. We like to prepare a structured icing, thick but very crispy. Therefore it is fundamental to know how to mix ingredients with mastery in order to get the desired result. For full-bodied structure it is essential to mix egg white and rice flour in careful proportion. In this phase the choice of fresh eggs makes a notable difference, not only as far as freshness and genuineness are concerned, but also in their performance. In order to get that notable taste, marked by almond with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste, we mix almond flour with bitter almond flour. Bitter almond is made from apricot and peach pits. Bitter almond flour coupled with sweet almond flour makes the taste more intriguing. In the end our final touch: we raise our closed hand in the air and open it on the icing to let many highquality whole almonds fall down: the famous “Prima Bari” almonds. Whole almonds, particularly after oven roasting, emphasize icing’s taste and give off a pure almond flavour for a characteristic taste.

EGGS

We only use fresh eggs, delivered to us three times a week. We would like to point out that we choose eggs produced by free range hens. 90% of eggs presently consumed in Italy, originate from intensive farming. In this way, while each of us purchases fresh eggs thinking that is a sufficient guarantee of genuineness, in reality, the only really natural ingredient that we purchase with these eggs is the pain suffered by hens. In battery farming hens are closed in cages of very small size and they will never be able to open their wings, perch or scratch about in their whole short life, that ends after around two years, if everything goes well, when they are sent, then wasted away, for slaughter. These animals are reduced to egg producing machines and in order to contain infections transmission, evidently very frequent in such unhealthy environments, these animals are also preventively treated with heavy antibiotic treatments. The core of the matter and also of our choice is simple. An egg can be product of a hen living in dignified conditions or of a hen completely deprived of its animal nature. We choose dignity. Purchasing eggs produced by free range hens means to make an ethical choice. We, as any consumer, can give concrete messages to the market that guarantees are needed to improve comfort and quality of life everyone, people and animals.

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