Esca Dolciaria produces typical sweets of Sardinian, respecting tradition and continuing the work established by the founders, Giovanni and Pietrina Esca, almost half a century ago at Dorgali, between the steep mountains of the land of Nuoro, a step away from the cobalt blue sea of Sardinia.
'Every time they must be better!’. With this simple, but wonderful idea in mind, Pietrina opened her pastry shop. It was the year 1972. Every time finger biscuits, macaroons, ‘Papassinos’, and ‘Mandorlini’, typical biscuits prepared with almonds, came out of the oven, better and better, more and more 'beautiful'. And every year new products added: ‘Reginette’, ‘Peaches’ with apricot, ‘Aranzadas’, homemade doughnuts, shortbreads.
More than 40 years passed since the first batch; now Salvatore, Caterina, and Stefano lead the Company with the same ethical rules, the same devotion to their land, and the same determination and courage their parents had. Caterina Esca explains: «Passion and attention, the pleasure of working better and better, care for every detail, from the selection of raw materials to the way of packing our sweets, are the secrets of our production. We do all this with the pride of leaving a good reminder, of which we, people of Sardinia, love to be proud».
The result is a delicious smell of freshly baked pastries, which spreads through the streets around the pastry shop, but, above all, a wide assortment of delicious products. Caterina proudly specifies: «We follow and perform traditional recipes, preserving recipes and selected ingredients, as they have been passed down through generations, working the dough in a traditional way, and at the same time trying to meet the new demands and market’s requirements. We perform by hand both finishes and decorations for our typical Sardinian sweets».
Sweets by Esca Dolciaria
Almond that, sweet or bitter, whole or crushed, are one of the main ingredients with which it is possible to prepare many typical delicacies. The refined sweet par excellence of the province of Nuoro is ‘Aranzada’, prepared with orange peel - candied in honey - and toasted almonds, cut into small diamonds.
The same ingredients, the same candying procedure are used for ‘Aranzada’ of Nuoro, whose dough is left soft. ‘Amaretti’ are characterized by a delicately bitter aftertaste: a balanced meeting of flavours among sweet and bitter almonds, egg whites, and lemon peel.
‘Mandorlini’ are fine bonbons in almond paste. ‘Petit four’ are soft and delicious, orange flavoured. ‘Fruttini’ are irresistible for children, with their soft almond paste. ‘Sospiri’ are big bonbons wrapped in coloured paper and contain soft dough of almonds and sugar flavoured with maraschino liqueur.
Three sweets are authentically traditional: ‘Pistiddu’, ‘Tiliccas’, ‘Papassini al vincotto’, a precious version of the traditional ‘Papassinos’ (traditional cake for the feast of All Saints: a harmonious mixture of eggs, nuts, and raisins, enriched, in the more refined version, with anise icing): a rich mixture prepared with cooked wine, almonds and walnuts, honey, raisins and pine nuts, made precious with a fragrant blend of spices.