What It Means: The word "Biscotti" comes from bis and cotti, the Italian terms for twice-cooked or twice-baked. Biscotti is also the generic term for cookie in Italian.
How They Are Made: The dough is rolled into logs and baked once. They are then sliced diagonally by hand and baked a second time to make them firm and crunchy.
What They Are Made With: From the traditional anise/almond Biscotti to decadent new varieties like chocolate cioccolata and cherry vanilla, Biscotti are made with the finest and freshest ingredients. And, although butter, sugar, eggs, almonds and flour are the base, Biscotti are gaining popularity for being a light, satisfying and relatively low in fat and calorie snack.
Its Orgin: Traditionally an Italian classic, Biscotti have been baked for centuries. It was the perfect food for sailors who were at sea for months at a time. The biscuits were thoroughly baked to draw out moisture, becoming a cracker-like food that was resistant to mold. Biscotti were a favorite of Christopher Columbus who relied on them on his long sea voyage.
How They Are Eaten: Biscotti are eaten and enjoyed in many ways! Italians favor them as "dipping cookies" either in a delicious cup of coffee or cappuccino, or in a special Italian wine known as Vin Santo. They are enjoyed as a breakfast biscuit, dunked in coffee, along side a dish of Gelato or Spumoni, and of course, Biscotti are savored as a subtly sweet crispy snack all by themselves!
Where They Are Found: Practically everywhere! Since they are the official and original "dunking cookie," Biscotti have found a perfect niche in the growing number of coffee houses and espresso carts sprouting up across the country. But more and more, Biscotti are turning up in elegant restaurants alongside a steaming cup of cappuccino, in gourmet marketplaes, on supermarket shelves, in deli's, ice cream parlors and even upscale beauty salons which offer the true "pamper you" service.
Shelf Life: Amazing but true, the shelf life of Biscotti are three to four months without preservatives or additives.
Why the Rage?: Biscotti are now being called " The Cookie of the 90s" quickly surpassing America's beloved chocolate chip cookie in popularity. Why? The coffee house and cappuccino cart explosion certainly helped introduce the Biscotti to gourmet coffee drinkers, and somehow, the rest of the country caught on. Today, Americans everywhere are embracing this hot new gourmet treat with a soaring passion, happily dipping and dunking their way through the day, delighting in a "new trend" that's centuries old!